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From the NIH Director: 2020 Black History Month

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear NIH Family,

During February, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) joins the nation in commemorating Black History Month. This year’s Black History Month theme, "Advancing Science Through a Different Lens," celebrates the accomplishments of the vast team of Black professionals who play a critical role in advancing the mission of NIH.

Over the last several years, our Black History Month celebrations have highlighted the scientific achievements of esteemed researchers, including Dr. Courtney Fitzhugh, Lasker Clinical Research Scholar at NIHLBI; Dr. Zayd Khaliq, Earl Stadtman Investigator at NINDS; and Dr. Darlene Dixon, Lead of the Molecular Pathogenesis Group at NIEHS. This year, we want to recognize that scientific breakthroughs are not possible without the support of diverse teams of professionals from varied backgrounds. From grants management specialists to administrative officers, policy analysts to electricians, and many, many others, the entire NIH community works together to ensure the research we conduct, and fund is translated from the bench to bedside. This month we celebrate our collective success as individuals committed to advancing scientific discovery here at the NIH.

As we celebrate Black History Month this year, I invite you to visit the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s (EDI) website and view the online campaign celebrating the accomplishments of various types of professionals at NIH.

One of the individuals you will read about is Colin Fraser. Mr. Fraser is a program specialist at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), where he helped establish the Partners in Review Committee. This committee serves as a platform to enhance communication and increase the work efficiency of Extramural Support Assistants and Scientific Review Officers at CSR. Like so many others, Mr. Fraser’s leadership enables NIH scientific achievement. Visit the EDI website to read additional profiles this month.

Through tools available on the EDI website, you can support EDI’s Portfolio for Blacks and get involved in efforts to improve the outreach, recruitment, retention, and advancement of this and other diverse populations at NIH. For more information, please contact Dawn M. Wayman in EDI’s Special Emphasis Portfolio Branch or visit the EDI website.

Sincerely yours,

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

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