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Guttmacher to Retire

Alan Guttmacher, the director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has announced that he will be retiring in October, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

Guttmacher took up the top post at NICHD in 2010. Prior to that, he served as special assistant to the director, then deputy director, and acting director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Before joining the National Institutes of Health, Guttmacher was at the University of Vermont, where he started a number of public health genetics programs.

In a statement, NIH Director Francis Collins notes that Guttmacher pursued a number of initiatives while at NICHD to better understand, treat, and prevent birth defects as well as improve the health of mothers and children.

"Alan possesses a rare combination of brilliance, impeccable scientific acumen, a lightning-quick wit, and an inspiring sense of humanity," Collins adds. "I am truly sorry to see him retire from the NIH, but I am deeply grateful for his enormous contributions to this agency and to advancing medical research."

After Guttmacher's departure, Catherine Spong, the current deputy director will serve as the acting director of NICHD while a national search for a new director gets underway.

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