Dr. Jon R. Lorsch has been named director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
Photo: Mike Ciesielski
Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, a professor in the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been selected as director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. He expects to begin his duties as NIGMS director in the summer, taking the reins from Dr. Judith Greenberg, who has served as acting director since July 2011 after the departure of Dr. Jeremy Berg.
Lorsch will oversee a $2.4 billion budget, which primarily funds more than 4,600 research grants (about 11 percent of those funded by NIH as a whole) as well as a substantial amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.
A leader in RNA biology, Lorsch studies the mechanics of translation initiation, a major step in controlling how genes are expressed. NIGMS, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institute of Mental Health have funded his work. Lorsch plans to continue his scientific studies in a lab at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Lorsch is as dedicated to education as he is to research. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he led efforts to reform curricula, to develop a graduate biomedical education center and to launch a summer research program for local high school students, many from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
As Greenberg said of Lorsch in a blog post announcing his selection to NIGMS grantees, “He brings a passion for science, a commitment to education and demonstrated leadership. We very much look forward to welcoming and working with him.”