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Tabak to Take on Acting NIH Director Role

Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the US National Institutes of Health, is to become the agency's acting director when Francis Collins steps down later this month, the Washington Post reports.

Collins has been in the director role since 2009, serving during the Obama, Trump, and now Biden administrations. He announced in October that he would be leaving the position that he has held for more than 12 years — which has made him the longest-serving NIH director — by the end of the year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that Tabak would serve as acting director after Collins' departure and during the search for a permanent replacement, the Hill adds. It notes that Tabak has been at NIH since 2000 where he has not only served as principal deputy director and deputy ethics counselor, but also was the director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

"Dr. Tabak's long tenure and broad experience at the NIH will ensure that the agency is in capable hands and serve it well during the search for Dr. Collins' successor," Becerra says in a statement. "Dr. Tabak has a deep grasp of the most pressing scientific issues confronting our nation, he has earned respect across NIH as a thoughtful and strategic manager and is committed to building a healthier and more equitable America."