If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Berg To Leave NIH

Head of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences will take a new job in academe

by Britt E. Erickson
December 6, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 50

Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
Berg, who has directed NIGMS since 2003, will move to the University of Pittsburgh next year.
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
Berg, who has directed NIGMS since 2003, will move to the University of Pittsburgh next year.

After heading the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for seven years, Jeremy M. Berg announced today that he is stepping down.

Berg will leave NIH in June 2011 to join the University of Pittsburgh as an associate senior vice chancellor for science strategy and planning in the health sciences. He will also be taking a position in the School of Medicine's department of computational and systems biology.

"I had no intention of leaving NIGMS at this point, but am doing so in support of the career of my wife, a leading breast imaging clinical researcher," Berg said in a statement. "After a change in her situation earlier this year, she was recruited by many institutions around the country, and the University of Pittsburgh offered tremendous opportunities for each of us."

During his career at NIGMS, Berg helped increase support for new investigators and highly innovative research. He increased dialogue between NIH and the scientific community through an NIGMS blog and other outreach efforts. He also issued the first strategic plan for NIGMS, and is currently working on a plan for research training that is expected early next year.

The NIGMS director oversees a budget of $2 billion. The institute funds grants in basic research in biomedical sciences, including biological chemistry, and supports about 10% of NIH-funded grants or about 4,500 grants each year. The institute also supports research training and initiatives to increase workforce diversity.

"Under Jeremy's leadership, NIGMS continued its impressive record of supporting outstanding research and training programs. He also made significant contributions to NIH by serving on key groups, including the NIH Steering Committee and the NIH Scientific Management Review Board, as well as by co-chairing the search committees for a number of important positions," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins in a statement. "He has been a leader who is always willing to roll up his sleeves and pitch in. The University of Pittsburgh must be thrilled, as they should be."

During his tenure at NIH, Berg also continued to conduct research at the agency focusing on the roles of metal ions, particularly zinc, in proteins. His work has advanced the understanding of how zinc-containing proteins regulate gene activity by binding to DNA or RNA.

Prior to joining NIH, Berg was director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was also a professor and head of the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Stanford University in 1980 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1985.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.