He has seen six National Institutes of Health (NIH) directors come and
go, but at the end of this month, Claude Lenfant, MD, director of the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will be absent from his office at
5 AM on a weekday for the first time since 1982.
His career at NIH began a dozen years earlier, when he launched the
institute's division of lung diseases after leaving a faculty position at
the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle. Before steering
NHLBI through a five-fold budget boost—Congress appropriated $2.6 billion
for fiscal year 2003—Lenfant investigated, among other topics, how the
lungs respond to high altitude and pressure. Outside of the NIH, he has spent
his weekends editing 178 volumes of Lung Biology in Health
and Disease, with 30 more monographs in the pipeline.
Vastag B. Claude Lenfant, MD. JAMA. 2003;290(8):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/jama.290.8.1017