The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on Wednesday (February 11) that Rita Colwell will be leaving her position as director of the NSF, effective February 21, 2004, and accepting a position at Canon US Life Sciences.

Colwell's term was set to expire in August. NSF spokesperson Leslie Fink said that only three previous NSF directors have stayed until their term expired, so it's “not unusual” for Colwell to be leaving at this time.

Debra Epstein, vice president of Corporate Communications for Canon USA, told The Scientist that Colwell will be serving as chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Canon USA. According to Epstein, Canon US Life Sciences was founded in December 2002 to “identify and develop life science solutions with potential applications in diagnostics and medical instrumentation.” Its scientific advisory board includes John Coleman, Tom Shenk, and Craig Venter. Epstein declined to comment on how long...

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