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NIH: Lawrence Tabak

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced this week that Lawrence Tabak, principial deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, will serve as acting director of the NIH effective Dec. 20. Tabak will assume these duties from long-time Director Francis Collins, who said earlier this year that his last day in the position will be Dec. 19.

Tabak has served as principal deputy director and deputy ethics counselor of NIH since August 2010. He previously served as the acting principal deputy director of NIH in 2009, and prior to that as director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from 2000 to 2010. Prior to joining NIH, Tabak was the senior associate dean for research and professor of dentistry and biochemistry & biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. A former NIH MERIT recipient, Tabak's major research focus has been on the structure, biosynthesis, and function of glycoproteins. He continues work in this area, maintaining an active research laboratory within the NIH intramural program in addition to his administrative duties, HHS said.

Tabak is an elected member the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies. He received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York, his DDS from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Buffalo.