Trump close to choosing Greek as head of the National Institutes of Health
Could US president-elect Donald Trump be close to choosing a leader for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)? The Greek researcher, John Ioannidis is thought to be among the candidates according to Nature.
According to American media the current NIH chief Francis Collins and Representative Andy Harris (Republican, Maryland), both front-runners for the job, met separately with Trump on 11 January, as did billionaire surgeon Patrick Soon-Shiong on 10 January. Several people familiar with the Collins and Harris meetings described them as job interviews. Other rumoured candidates include Geoffrey Ling, a retired Army neurosurgeon and former director of biotechnology at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who says that he met with Trump’s transition team recently, and John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University in California who has pushed for reproducibility in biomedical science.
Although Ioannidis says that he has not been approached by Trump’s staff, sources close to the transition team say that the scientist has been floated for the NIH position.
“If they call, my first priority would be to make sure there are no strings attached in promoting any anti-science ideas,” Ioannidis says, such as linking vaccines to autism.