Fredrickson, Donald (cont.)

Fredrickson's main success as NIH director lay in devising guidelines for recombinant DNA research that preserved freedom of scientific inquiry while allaying public fears of genetic manipulation; stabilizing NIH funding at a time of retrenchment; and fostering consensus among clinical and scientific researchers at NIH, groups that often found themselves at odds in their research objectives and struggle for funding. With these controversies alleviated, Fredrickson completed his tenure as director of NIH in June of 1981.

After two years as Scholar-in-Residence at the National Academy of Sciences, Fredrickson became first vice president, then president, CEO and trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Fredrickson oversaw the sale of the Institute's sole asset, the Hughes Aircraft Company, for six billion dollars, as well as the Institute's subsequent expansion into the largest source of philanthropic support for biomedical research in the United States, dispensing research grants and supporting laboratories in hospitals. Moreover, Fredrickson organized the relocation of the Institute from Coconut Grove, Florida, to Chevy Chase, Maryland. From 1987 until his death, Fredrickson was Scholar-in-Residence at the National Library of Medicine. Drawing on his early medical training, he became personal physician to King Hassan II of Morocco in 1975, a service for which he was elected a member of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco in 1991. Dr. Fredrickson died at his home in Bethesda in 2002.

Adapted from biographical information provided courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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