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Professor Elias Zerhouni


Professor Elias Zerhouni - Global Medical Discovery

Professor Elias Zerhouni the former director of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has spent much of his career providing clinical, scientific and management leadership to a wide range of agencies all over the world. As the 15th director of the NIH (2002-2008), Professor Zerhouni oversaw 27 institutes and centers, and more than 18,000 employees (with a budget of $29.5 billion in fiscal year 2008). During that time, he successfully led a series of initiatives and reforms, including the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, which led to the passage of the NIH Reform Act of 2006 by the U.S. Congress.

Prior to joining the NIH, Professor Zerhouni served as executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as chair of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, as the Martin Donner professor of radiology, and as professor of biomedical engineering.

A radiologist by training, Professor Zerhouni conducted imaging research early in his career that led to major advances in computerized axial tomography (CAT scanning) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He is credited with developing novel quantitative imaging methods used for diagnosing cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. As one of the world’s premier experts in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Professor Zerhouni extended the role of CT and MRI from taking snapshots of gross anatomy to visualizing how the body works at the physiologic and molecular levels. He pioneered magnetic tagging, a non-invasive method using MRI to track the motions and accurately measure the function of a heart in three dimensions. He is also known for refining an imaging technique called quantitative computed tomographic densitometry that helps discriminate between non-cancerous and cancerous nodules in the lung. It is also used for developing and applying the method of high resolution CT for the study of heart and lung structure and function, and for diagnosing cancer. Professor Zerhouni is the author of more than 210 publications and holds eight patents.
Professor Zerhouni holds a number of prominent positions on prestigious Boards, including most recently, Senior Fellow of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, the board of trustees of the Mayo Clinic and the Lasker Foundation. Among his many honors, Professor Zerhouni earned membership into the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and received the prestigious Legion of Honor medal from the French National Order in 2008. He was recently appointed as Chair of Innovation at the College de France and elected to membership at the French Academy of Medicine in 2010.

Dr. Zerhouni joined Sanofi-aventis as its President of Global Research and Development in January of 2011.