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Jung Joins NIEHS as Chief of Staff

By Eddy Ball
March 2010

Commander Paul Jung, M.D.
Jung, above, noted that as scientists and public health professionals better understand the range of complex disease, there is bound to be a growing recognition of the key role that the environment plays in public health. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

In a February statement to employees, NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum announced the appointment of Commander Paul Jung, M.D., of the U.S. Public Health Service as NIEHS chief of staff. Jung officially assumed the duties of his new position overseeing operational and staffing activities for the NIEHS Office of the Director on March 1.

In welcoming Jung to NIEHS, Birnbaum pointed to his potential for pursuing strategic improvements to the Institute's overall performance. "Paul's extensive background in broad public health matters and his government leadership experience will be valuable assets in identifying and implementing NIEHS key initiatives," she said.

Jung is a licensed physician board-certified in preventive medicine, who received an M.D. from the University of Maryland with residencies in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University and in preventive medicine at Emory University. He also holds advanced degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University, political management from George Washington University, and business administration from the University of Baltimore. He has experience in epidemiology, public health, and policy (see text box).

Prior to joining NIEHS, he was an investigator for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In December 2009, he gave a guest lecture at NIEHS on his evaluations of the use of bisphenol A in infant formula packaging, scientific integrity in clinical trials, and other health issues and industry practices (see story(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2010/january/spotlight-seminar.cfm)).

When asked about his decision to accept the position at NIEHS, Jung said, "To me, environmental health is the future of medicine." Jung sees NIEHS as the point of convergence of his interests in public health and the environmental factors that interact with genetics to cause disease. "It just makes sense that we should apply public health principles to chemicals and other environmental agents as we move beyond the traditional public health focus on bacteria and viruses."

"NIEHS seems to me to be the agency that is best positioned to address those issues," Jung concluded. "This is the place where the primary research is being done and being supported on the toxins and chemicals we should be addressing."

A Career in Public Service

  • Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, conducting research into state medical boards' disciplinary actions against physicians and medical residents' quality of life and errors related to call schedules
  • Montgomery County (Maryland) Health Commission Member, advising the County Council on the health needs and programs for Maryland's largest county
  • Senior Faculty Lecturer at the University of Maryland, teaching "Introduction to Health Policy: Things They Don't Teach in Medical School"
  • Medical Officer, Food Safety Adverse Events Reporting System at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, managing the review, evaluation, and resolution of adverse events from regulated food products
  • Chief of Epidemiology for the U.S. Peace Corps, supervising, monitoring, and evaluating the Peace Corps' worldwide health and disease surveillance system - receiving the 2009 "Best Original Paper" award from the International Society of Travel Medicine
  • Investigator for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, examining the use of bisphenol A in infant formula packaging, questionable conduct of pharmaceutical trials, deceptive direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs, and the federal human subjects protection system


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