I am pleased to announce the appointment of David R. Wilson, Ph.D. (Diné, Born for Tódích’íi’nii and born to Honágháahnii) as Director of the Tribal Health Research Office, NIH. The office coordinates NIH research related to the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) across the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. Dr. Wilson was appointed on January 22, and will begin in his new role on February 13.
The office was created in recognition of the importance of ensuring meaningful input from and collaboration with tribal Nations on NIH programs and policies. Establishment of the office aligns with implementation of the NIH Guidance on the implementation of the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy that describes how the agency will consult and share information with Indian tribes about planned and current NIH programs relevant to AI/AN health research. The office will also support the NIH Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee (TCAC), which advises the NIH on tribal health research. The TCAC also provides a forum for meetings between elected Tribal officials (or their designated representatives) and NIH officials to exchange views, share information, and seek advice concerning intergovernmental responsibilities related to the implementation and administration of NIH programs.
Dr. Wilson comes to the NIH Office of the Director from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health where he served as Public Health Advisor and the American Indian/Alaska Native Policy Lead. Dr. Wilson graduated with a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Arizona State University. His commitment to encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science began when he was a graduate student and Regent’s scholar working with high school and community college students in the Four Corners area. Dr. Wilson completed a three year postdoc, and served as a senior research scientist at the National Institute on Aging. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health at the Center for American Indian Health.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wilson to his new role as the first director of this important office.
James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.