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NINDS Director Rumored to Succeed Varmus

A new name tops the list of potential future directors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Two high-level officials at different NIH institutes in Bethesda, Maryland, say that Gerald Fischbach, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), is in the running to succeed Harold Varmus as NIH chief.

Fischbach, who received an M.D. degree from Cornell in 1965 and an M.A. from Harvard in 1978, chaired the neurobiology departments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before taking charge of NINDS in July 1998. Through an assistant, Fischbach declined to discuss the rumor.