NCCAM Appoints Dr. John Killen, Jr., to Direct the Office of International Health Research

BETHESDA, MARYLAND — Following a nationwide search, John
Y. Killen, Jr., M.D., has been appointed director of the
Office of International Health Research (OIHR) of the
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(NCCAM).

Established in 1998, NCCAM is 1 of 27 Institutes and
Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. NCCAM is the lead Federal agency supporting
scientific research on complementary and alternative
medical (CAM) practices, training CAM researchers, and
disseminating research findings to the public and health
professionals.

OIHR was created in 2001 to identify promising
international CAM practices and encourage their rigorous
scientific assessment and development through international
scientific collaborations, training of researchers, and
dissemination of authoritative information to the public
and professionals.

In announcing this new appointment, Stephen E. Straus,
M.D., NCCAM Director, said “Dr. Killen’s global experience
in the study of HIV/AIDS and cancer make him the ideal
person to take on this job. NCCAM, its fellow NIH
Institutes, and the entire CAM research community are
fortunate to have Dr. Killen assume this new role.”

As director of the OIHR, Dr. Killen will develop a
multifaceted portfolio of research examining the safety,
efficacy, and mechanisms underlying interventions that have
evolved over centuries in other cultures, many of which are
increasingly used in the United States. He will also serve
as senior advisor to NCCAM’s Director and Deputy Director
as the primary resource on NCCAM’s international activities
relating to CAM and traditional medicine.

“It was my distinct pleasure to work with Dr. Killen when
he directed the Division of AIDS at the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and more
recently in his position with the Office of Biodefense,”
said Margaret Chesney, Ph.D., NCCAM Deputy Director. “In
both capacities, he demonstrated his deep respect for
multidisciplinary research, as well as his sensitivity and
compassion to cultural and clinical issues faced by
patients confronting debilitating chronic conditions.”

Dr. Killen’s 21-year NIH career has focused on designing,
implementing, and managing multidisciplinary research
programs in cancer, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases,
and on the ethics of clinical research. Most recently
(2002-present) he was head of the Office of Biodefense
Research at NIAID. Prior to that, he served as Associate
Director for Research Ethics, NIAID, and also headed the
International Research Section in the Department of
Clinical Bioethics (2001-2002) at the Warren Magnuson
Clinical Center of the NIH. From 1993 through 2001, Dr.
Killen served as director, after serving as deputy director
(1987-1993), of the Division of AIDS, NIAID. In this
position he was responsible for a broad array of
scientific, ethical, regulatory, and policy issues that
emerged in domestic U.S. and international research
programs during the early years of the epidemic. At a
global level, this involved collaborative projects with the
World Health Organization, the Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS, the Pan American Health
Organization, the U.S. Agency for International
Development, and other multinational health organizations.
He began his NIH career at the National Cancer Institute,
working with multicenter clinical trials and anticancer
drug development.

Dr. Killen also represented the NIH in numerous
international workshops and task forces regarding all
aspects of multinational clinical investigation, with a
particular focus on the problem of HIV/AIDS in the
developing world.

Dr. Killen received his undergraduate degree, magna cum
laude, from Kenyon College, Gambier, OH. He received his
M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA,
and completed a residency in internal medicine and clinical
oncology fellowship training at the Georgetown University
Hospital, Washington, DC. He is board certified in internal
medicine and medical oncology and has pursued additional
training in palliative/end-of-life medicine. Among his
many honors and awards, Dr. Killen is a recipient of the
NIH Director’s Award, the Public Health Service Special
Recognition Award, the PHS Superior Service Award, and the
Senior Executive Service Meritorious Executive Rank.

“I am very excited to be joining NCCAM in this new
position. It presents a unique opportunity to explore
promising approaches to better health that are drawn from
traditional or alternative systems of healing. It also
builds naturally on my career-long interests in clinical
research, chronic illness, and global health,” said Dr.
Killen.

Dr. Killen officially assumes his duties at NCCAM on
September 21, 2003.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine (NCCAM) is dedicated to exploring complementary
and alternative medical (CAM) practices in the context of
rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and
disseminating authoritative information to the public and
professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM’s
Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the
NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov.

Avatar Written by National Institutes of Health

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