Milestones

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Science  08 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5634, pp. 761
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5634.761b

A long road. After 12 years as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), cancer biologist Kenneth Olden has decided that the $614 million institute needs a leadership change. Last week he announced that he was stepping down to spend more time on his research and with his family.

CREDIT: NIEHS

“Twelve years is long enough,” says Olden, 65, who is credited with moving toxicology at NIEHS beyond traditional animal tests into molecular approaches. The first African American to lead an institute at the National Institutes of Health, he also promoted community-based research on issues such as environmental justice. Olden will also be missed as director of the National Toxicology Program. “I just think he's done an incredible job,” says Bernard Goldstein, dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

After NIEHS finds a replacement, Olden will devote his energies to his work on tumor metastasis in a National Cancer Institute lab housed at NIEHS's campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. And, he says, “I'll think about what to do with my life.”

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