Praise for some of her achievements is tempered by ongoing concern over future NIH strategies

What will be the long-term impact of Bernadine Healy's brief two years as the first woman director of the National Institutes of Health? With her recently announced resignation, effective June 30, the fate of projects and issues she has pressed for or influenced becomes less clear. Among these are her creation of a women's health office at the institutes, her development of a strategic plan for NIH research, and her impact on scientific integrity investigations in the biomedical community.

According to scientists, former NIH officials, and policy advocates, Healy's lasting influence will be significant-- impressively so, in light of the relatively short duration of her tenure--although it may not be exactly what she might have hoped for in every case.

The ability of David Kessler, the 41-year-old commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to...

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