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Medical News and Perspectives
August 27, 2003

Claude Lenfant, MD

JAMA. 2003;290(8):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/jama.290.8.1017

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.

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