Questions remain about the low-key director's handling of clinical research, Congress, and scientific misconduct
Not yet two years into his tenure as head of the National Institutes of Health, Harold E. Varmus is getting high marks from many scientists for his low-key, but thorough efforts to rejuvenate the agency's biomedical research effort. Initiatives to sharpen the basic science being done on campus and to streamline the peer review of proposals from outside researchers are bringing new energy to the health agency from top to bottom, they say.

"Varmus has looked at NIH afresh from, I think, every perspective, both intra- and extramurally," says Samuel C. Silverstein, chairman of the physiology and cellular biophysics department at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

Some scientists and others maintain that NIH director Harold E. Varmus has given short shrift to...

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!