After a 15-month search, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have named Johns Hopkins University professor Jeremy Berg the new director of its National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

Berg will oversee a $1.8-billion budget that funds basic biomedical research, including cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, biological chemistry, physiology, and bioinformatics and computational biology. NIGMS currently supports more than 4400 research grants—about 10% of the grants funded by NIH's 27 institutes and centers.

Christopher Walsh of Harvard Medical School, a member of the search committee that selected Berg, said Berg's scientific breadth made him ideal for NIGMS. "He's worked in a medical school running an active research department, yet he's trained in basic science. So he bridges both basic science and the appreciation of its applications. I think he's the perfect choice for someone to run that institute," he said. "And he's a great communicator and...

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