NIH taps Dr. Shannon Zenk as director of the National Institute of Nursing Research

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has selected Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., F.A.A.N., as director of NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). A registered nurse and leading nurse researcher, Dr. Zenk is currently Nursing Collegiate Professor in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing, and a fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy. She is expected to begin her new role as the NINR director in early fall. NINR supports and conducts basic and clinical research that spans and integrates the behavioral and biological sciences and develops the scientific basis for clinical practice.

“Dr. Zenk’s diverse and original research experience paired with her expertise as a nurse educator make her an ideal choice to lead NIH’s efforts in nursing science,” said Dr. Collins. “I am delighted to have her join the NIH leadership team in the fall. I also want to recognize Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D., for her exemplary leadership in serving as the NINR acting director since January 2020, in addition to her role as NIH associate deputy director in the NIH Office of the Director.”

As NINR director, Dr. Zenk will oversee NINR’s annual budget of nearly $170 million, the large majority of which supports extramural research at institutions across the Nation. NINR science seeks to improve the lives of individuals and families living with illness and to develop personalized strategies to maximize health and well-being at all stages of life, and across diverse populations and settings. NINR’s intramural program on the NIH campus conducts research to better understand and manage symptoms. Within both of those programs, NINR devotes significant resources to training and career development to foster the next generation of nurse scientists.

Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., F.A.A.N.

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