Zuk to Direct NIGMS Genetics and Developmental Biology Division

Announcement Date:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has announced the selection of Dorit Zuk, Ph.D., as director of the Institute's Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB). 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. Zuk is expected to join NIGMS in early 2016.

The GDB division funds basic research on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance, gene expression and development, laying the foundation for advances in diagnosing, preventing, treating and curing a wide variety of diseases.

“GDB supports curiosity-driven science, often using model organisms, that deepens understanding of fundamental biological processes,” Lorsch said. “GDB-funded researchers pursue questions ranging from how cells repair DNA to how microbial diversity affects human health. Dr. Zuk’s expertise in genetics, developmental biology and other scientific fields; knowledge of many policy areas; and ability to engage effectively with scientists and other stakeholders make her an ideal choice for directing the division and joining our senior leadership team.”

Zuk is currently director of the Office of Policy, Communications and Strategic Alliances at NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. She previously served as the science policy advisor to the NIH deputy director for extramural research. In this role, she developed, coordinated and disseminated policies and procedures on issues such as financial conflicts of interest 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. In 2008-2009, she served as a program officer for science policy and Hellman Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Zuk 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. Her honors include numerous NIH Director’s Awards, most recently for her work on an Ebola drug repurposing screening project.

“I am excited to join NIGMS and the GDB division and look forward to working with the program staff and the extramural community to stimulate outstanding science that expands our knowledge of molecular mechanisms and developmental and cellular pathways,” said Zuk.

To arrange an interview with Dorit Zuk, Ph.D., contact the NIGMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison at 301-496-7301 or through our​ contact form.