Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox to serve as Acting Director of NIMHD

Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) announced today the appointment of Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox, Ph.D., as NIMHD's acting director. This appointment follows Dr. John Ruffin's announcement last month of his retirement from federal service and as director of NIMHD after 24 years.

"I commend Dr. Ruffin for his years of service to the NIH and the community that is so in need of the research supported by NIMHD," said Dr. Maddox. "I am looking forward to working with NIMHD staff and my other colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services to continue to advance the programs of the institute. In addition, I look forward to listening and working with the many stakeholders to assess and identify the needs of the various populations that we serve."

Prior to joining NIMHD, Dr. Maddox served as the deputy director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, advising the director on matters regarding the institute's budget and programs that support research on child development, developmental biology, nutrition, AIDS/HIV, intellectual and developmental disabilities, population issues, reproductive biology, contraception, pregnancy, and medical rehabilitation. Dr. Maddox has also served as the acting deputy director of the National Institutes of Health from January 2000-June 2002 and co-chaired the first NIH Strategic Plan to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities.

In addition, Dr. Maddox chaired the federal SIDS/Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Working Group and the NIH Down Syndrome Consortium (an international public-private partnership). She has also led several other Department of Health and Human Services and NIH committees to advance medical research for affected communities to improve their health. Among those leadership activities, she served as executive director of the HHS Cancer Health Disparities Progress Review Group, and co-chaired the HHS Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality in Minority Communities. She has also served on many public service and academic boards.

As a cardiovascular physiologist, Dr. Maddox has served in several scientific roles at NIH and has authored numerous scientific papers and review articles and delivered keynote scientific lectures domestically and internationally. She has received many honors and awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award, Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award, HHS Career Achievement Award, Public Health Service Special Recognition Award, HHS Secretary's Award, NIH Director's Award, National Down Syndrome Society Champion of Change Award, and Research Down Syndrome Foundation Light the Way Award. Her scientific work has been recognized by Morehouse School of Medicine with a HeLa Leadership Award for Excellence in Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Maddox is also an inductee in the field of medicine to the Historical Black College and Universities Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Distinguished Public Service Award. Along with former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Maddox received the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Flame Award in recognition of her service to improve public health. Dr. Maddox has received several honorary degrees and is a member of the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Maddox received her B.S. in biology from Virginia Union University, Richmond, and her Ph.D. in physiology from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. She studied as a visiting scientist at the French Atomic Energy Commission, Saclay, France, and graduated from the Senior Managers in Government Program of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

As acting director, Dr. Maddox will oversee the NIMHD budget of approximately $268 million. Additionally, she will provide leadership for the minority health and health disparities research activities of NIH, which constitutes an annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion.


NIMHD is a part of the NIH that leads scientific research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities by conducting and supporting research on minority health and health disparities; planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating all minority health and health disparities research at NIH; promoting and supporting the training of a diverse research workforce; translating and disseminating research information; and fostering collaborations and partnerships see http://www.nimhd.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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