Dr. Mary Klotman, dean of Duke University School of Medicine, candidate for NIH director

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Photo by Rebecca Carballo


Dr Mary Klotman and Dr Paul Klotman in a photo from 2011.

Gary Fountain, Independent / For the Chronicle

Dr. Mary Klotman, a Duke University scientist and wife of Baylor College of Medicine president Dr. Paul Klotman, is in the running to become the next director of the National Institutes of Health.

She had several conversations with senior administration officials, as first reported by The Washington Post. Dr. Mary Klotman could not immediately be reached for comment, but Dr. Paul Klotman confirmed she was in the running with the Chronicle.

“I’m not sure the NIH can find a more qualified candidate with her background as a scientist, dean, and academic leader,” Dr. Paul Klotman said.

If chosen by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate, she would succeed Francis S. Collins, who stepped down as NIH director last year and is now a policy adviser to the Biden administration.

Earlier in her career, she worked as an NIH scientist and researched HIV. She also worked at Duke, her alma mater, for over a decade. In 2010, she served as Chair of the Department of Medicine. She held that position until 2017, when she became dean of Duke University School of Medicine, a position she still holds.

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