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From the NIH Director: NIH 2016 Asian American and Pacific Islander

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

We join the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, in sending a global message that encourages all members of NIH’s workforce to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by individually thanking members of this community who are serving or has served in public service, at the NIH, or in government.

During the month of May, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) pays tribute to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made significant contributions to our nation and to the NIH. This year’s theme is "Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies." This theme underscores the true value of diversity and inclusion. We understand that at the NIH, our people are our most valuable asset and by working together, we can leverage the diverse ideas and perspectives of our workforce to drive innovation and scientific discovery. Together, our diverse employees help create legacies to sustain the NIH mission.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders, such as Ruby Hirose, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Belinda Seto, have served with valor and distinction throughout history. Dr. Hirose, a Biochemist and Bacteriologist, made major contributions to the development of vaccines against infantile paralysis. Dr. Wu, a Physicist, was the first recipient of the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1978. Dr. Seto, Deputy Director, National Eye Institute (NEI), completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the renowned Stadtman Lab of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

I encourage you to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and participate in the planned activities for this month. I also encourage you to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander special emphasis portfolio and to get involved in the efforts to improve the outreach, the recruitment, the retention, and the advancement of this and other diverse populations at the NIH. Please contact Tyrone Banks, Asian American and Pacific Islanders Portfolio Strategist, at or visit the website at

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