This press release just in from NIH is entitled, "Stephen E. Straus, M.D. becomes senior advisor to NIH director," but what it really means is that a change in leadership is occurring at NIH's alternative medicine arm, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
Straus has been ill and is stepping down for health reasons being replaced by acting director, Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D. (you postdocs should recognize the name since the NIH postdoctoral grants are named after Dr Kirschstein in recognition of her decades of NIH service, in part as director of NIGMS).
The entire press release is here, but it will be interesting to see if the direction of NCCAM intramural and extramural research changes with Dr Straus' departure.
While many of us have bones to pick with NCCAM and how they administer their funding and research programs, we also respect Dr Straus for his contributions to NIH and send him best wishes for good health.
Strauss is a good guy. And it's been fortunate for everybody that they've consistently placed a real scientist in this position rather than some quack who actually believes in some of the magical BS being sold these days.