Dorit Zuk Selected as NIGMS Deputy Director

Announcement Date:
Headshot of Dorit Zuk 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has announced the selection of Dorit Zuk, Ph.D., as the Institute's deputy director. Zuk has served as acting NIGMS deputy director since November 2020, and director of the Institute’s Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology since January 2016.

“Dr. Zuk is a trusted advisor who can always be counted on for her expertise and sound judgement,” Lorsch said. “She has formed strong collaborations within NIGMS and across NIH and has made numerous contributions to building a stronger and more diverse biomedical enterprise. I am extremely pleased that she will continue her dedicated service to the Institute as a vital part of our leadership team.”

As deputy director, Zuk will provide leadership on the full range of NIGMS activities supporting fundamental research that increases understanding of biological processes and fuels advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The Institute's budget of $3 billion funds more than 5,500 investigators and 5,000 research grantsaround 11 percent of the total number of research grants supported by NIH as a whole. In addition, the Institute funds a substantial amount of research training and other programs designed to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce and develop research capacities throughout the country.

Zuk is a molecular biologist whose research has focused on muscle development and RNA metabolism. She also has a strong background in science policy and communications. Prior to joining NIGMS, she directed the former Office of Policy, Communications and Strategic Alliances at NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Before that, she served as the science policy advisor to the NIH deputy director for extramural research, providing leadership on a range of topics, including financial conflicts of interest policies and the future of the biomedical research workforce. Zuk came to NIH in 2007 as a science and technology policy fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 2008 to 2009, she served as a program officer for science policy and Hellman Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She began her policy career after working in scientific publishing, serving as the deputy editor of the journal Cell from 2000 to 2002 and as the editor of the journal Molecular Cell from 2003 to 2007.

Zuk earned a B.Sc. in biology from Tel Aviv University and an M.Sc. in biology and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the laboratory of Allan Jacobson, Ph.D. She is the recipient of numerous NIH honors, most recently an NIH Director’s Award for her contributions to incorporate artificial intelligence into grant referral processes. 

“I am excited to work with Dr. Lorsch and all of NIGMS to achieve the Institute’s goals of funding the highest quality science; developing research capacity around the nation; and supporting an innovative, sustainable, and diverse biomedical research workforce,” Zuk said.


To arrange an interview with Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., or Dorit Zuk, Ph.D., contact the NIGMS Communications and Public Liaison Branch at 301-496-7301 or email