NIH names Rick Woychik director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Woychik will lead NIH’s research efforts on environmental influences on human health and also serve as director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has appointed Richard (Rick) P. Woychik, Ph.D., as director of NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Dr. Woychik served as acting director of the NIEHS since October 2019 and officially began his new role as the NIEHS director on June 7, 2020. NIEHS conducts and supports environmental health sciences in alignment with real-world public health needs and translates scientific findings into knowledge that can inform real-life individual and public health outcomes.

“Innovation has been a hallmark of Rick’s scientific career and it’s at the center of his vision for leading NIEHS,” said Dr. Collins. “He will be working to support new technologies and scientific approaches throughout the field of environmental health sciences — applying his proven skills in scientific excellence, creativity, and rigor to improving public health.”

Woychik is highly respected for a long list of accomplishments in mammalian genetics and environmental epigenetics. His laboratory was the first to identify a gene associated with polycystic kidney disease, the first to connect a protocadherin gene ultimately linked to hearing loss in Cushing’s disease patients, and the first to clone an obesity-related gene called agouti. Dr. Woychik says his passion for epigenetics and environmental health sciences started when his research group discovered that the obesity trait associated with one of the agouti mutant mouse lines was influenced by the epigenome during embryonic development.

Dr. Rick Woychik

Dr. Rick Woychik has been named Director of NIEHS.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022