Dental researcher Dr. Lawrence Tabak, PhD, has been named the acting director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Tabak, a former director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), will assume the position on December 20.
Since August 2010, Tabak has served as the NIH's principal deputy director and deputy ethics counselor. He previously served as the acting principal deputy director of the NIH in 2009.
Tabak led the NIDCR from 2000 to 2010. Prior to joining the NIH, he was the senior associate dean for research and a professor of dentistry and biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York.
"Dr. Tabak has a deep grasp of the most pressing scientific issues confronting our nation, he has earned respect across NIH as a thoughtful and strategic manager and is committed to building a healthier and more equitable America," stated U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release.
In August 2020, Dr. Rena D'Souza, PhD, replaced Tabak as director of the NIDCR. D'Souza is a licensed dentist known for her research, including as a professor of dentistry at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.