Thursday, April 24, 2008

Immigrant of the Day: ELIAS ZERHOUNI (Algeria)

Elias_zerhouni_closeup_official_pho DR. ELIAS ZERHOUNI (1951-) is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the leading medical research agency in the United States. NIH supports medical research at more than 3000 universities, hospitals and research institutions in the U.S. and in more than 90 countries around the world.

Dr. Zerhouni has received numerous other awards during his career, holds eight patents, and has written 212 publications. President Bush appointed Dr. Zerhouni to be director of the NIH in May 2002. His accomplishments at the NIH have included the establishment of a research program on obesity, and supporting the reduction of healthcare disparities.

Before joining the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni served as executive vice-dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, chair of the Russell H. Morgan department of radiology and radiological science, and Martin Donner professor of radiology, and professor of biomedical engineering. Before that, he was vice dean for research at Johns Hopkins.

A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Zerhouni was born in Nedroma in Tlemcen Province, a small city near the western border of Algeria with Morocco. He came to the United States at age 24, having earned his medical degree at the University of Algiers School of Medicine in 1975.

In 1985, Dr. Zerhouni was a consultant to the White House under President Ronald Reagan. In 1988, he was a consultant to the World Health Organization. Since 2000, he has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. He had served on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Advisors from 1998-2002. He has won several awards for his research including a Gold Medal from the American Roentgen Ray Society for CT research and two Paul Lauterbur Awards for MRI research. His research in imaging led to advances in Computed tomography (CAT scanning) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Dr. Zerhouni received the honorary title Doctor Emeritus from the University of Algiers in 2005.


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