NIH Taps Black Biologist To Direct Unit; Move Seen As Breakthrough For Minorities

WASHINGTON--For the first time in the history of the National Institutes of Health, the director of one of its institutes is a person of color. And cancer cell biologist Kenneth Olden would like his appointment as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to be read as a message of hope to prospective minority scientists everywhere. "My appointment says to minority youths that, if they work hard and prepare themselves, they can succeed," says Olden, who until

Jeffrey Mervis
Jul 21, 1991
WASHINGTON--For the first time in the history of the National Institutes of Health, the director of one of its institutes is a person of color. And cancer cell biologist Kenneth Olden would like his appointment as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to be read as a message of hope to prospective minority scientists everywhere.

"My appointment says to minority youths that, if they work hard and prepare themselves, they can succeed," says Olden, who until last month was director of the Howard University Cancer Center here and chairman of the department of oncology within its medical school. "We're just not training enough black scientists, and I hope that I can play a role in increasing that number."

Olden is the first major appointee of new NIH director Bernadine Healy, herself the first woman to lead the agency, which traces its origins to a United States...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?