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Environmental Factor, May 2015

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Zeldin inducted into Association of American Physicians

By Robin Arnette

Janet Hall, Darryl Zeldin, and Perry Blackshear

Zeldin, center, shown with fellow AAP members and NIEHS colleagues Janet Hall, M.D., with the Clinical Research Program, and Perry Blackshear, M.D., D.Phil., lead investigator in the Signal Transduction Laboratory, has published more than 275 peer-reviewed articles in leading biomedical journals, as well as numerous reviews and book chapters. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Myers)

NIEHS Scientific Director Darryl Zeldin, M.D., manages scores of in-house researchers that make up the institute’s intramural division, but it is his pursuit of basic and clinical research that led to his nomination to the Association of American Physicians (AAP). Zeldin and several other physician-scientists were inducted into the 130-year-old association April 24 in Chicago during a joint meeting of the AAP and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

When asked about his feelings on being inducted into the association, Zeldin said, "To be elected as a member of this association is a great honor. Members have included Nobel laureates, and members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. I am humbled to be considered part of this prestigious group of physician-scientists."

Advancing science and improving public health

AAP was founded by seven physicians in 1885 and now has more than 1,300 active members, as well as approximately 600 emeritus and honorary members around the world. The contributions of AAP members have always advanced science and improved public health. With his induction, Zeldin joins several other physician-scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.; Clinical Center Director John Gallin, M.D.; and Michael Gottesman, M.D., deputy director for intramural research.

"Darryl's election to membership in the Association of American Physicians recognizes both his important work on the causes of inflammation in the lung and his leadership role as scientific director of NIEHS," Gottesman said. "His studies showing that cytochrome P450s metabolize arachidonic acid to specific eicosanoids with a role in a variety of pulmonary inflammatory disorders, including asthma, have important public health implications. NIH is proud to have a scientist of Darryl's caliber, and this recent recognition is well-deserved."

Opportunities for translational research

In addition to his duties as NIEHS scientific director, Zeldin leads the Environmental Cardiopulmonary Disease Group in the Immunity, Inflammation, and Disease Laboratory, and holds a secondary appointment in the Clinical Research Branch. His research focuses on three major areas:

  • Understanding the environment’s role in the origins of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Identifying molecules that may be used to treat respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
  • Examining the potential risk factors associated with the development and exacerbation of allergic diseases, including asthma.

He serves as an attending physician at Duke University Medical Center and the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also regularly sees research participants at the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit.

Zeldin earned a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University in 1982 and an M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1986. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Duke University in 1989 and a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care medicine at Vanderbilt University in 1993.

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