NIH names Walter J Koroshetz director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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National Institutes of Health director Francis S Collins has announced the selection of Walter J Koroshetz, as the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He has served as acting director of the NINDS since October 2014.

“I am very pleased that Koroshetz has accepted the enormous responsibility of being the NINDS director,” said Collins. “His deep grounding in clinical neurology and basic neuroscience research makes him the ideal candidate to lead NINDS into the future and to fulfil the Institute’s mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.”

In announcing the appointment, Collins recognised Koroshetz’ role in the creation of the StrokeNet, a national clinical trial network for research in stroke treatment, prevention, and recovery as well as his role as point person for traumatic brain injury research at the NIH, and co-founder of the NIH-Uniformed Services Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (TBI research centre).

Koroshetz serves as co-chair of the NIH BRAIN Initiative. He was instrumental in establishing the NIH Office of Emergency Research and is the NINDS representative to the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee; chair of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee and the NIH Pain Consortium, and co-chair of the Common Fund Undiagnosed Disease programme.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the NINDS when there is such an enormous potential for unlocking the mysteries of brain function. Since the president’s announcement of the BRAIN Initiative, all eyes have been on the efforts to uncover the circuits and connections in the brain that make us who we are. NINDS grantees are passionate about understanding how the brain develops and functions to enable human behaviour, and learning how to treat disabling disorders,” said Koroshetz.

As the new director of the NINDS, Koroshetz will oversee an annual budget of US$1.6bn and 1,141 scientists, physician-scientists, and research administrators.

Before coming to NIH as the NINDS deputy director in 2007, Koroshetz was a Harvard professor of Neurology, vice chair of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, director of Stroke and Neurointensive Care, and a member of the Huntington’s disease unit.