150px-Elias Zerhouni close-up official photo

Dr. Elias Zerhouni

Person of SignificantEdit

Many successful Arabs in the field of medicine have raised my interest; however, one man has interested me enough to write a wiki about him. And that man is Dr. Elias Zerhouni, a very famous Doctor who made a successful a career in medicine and directed the National Institutes of Health for 6 years.

Personal life

Dr. Elias Zerhouni was born in April 12 1951 in Nedroma in Algeria. He was married to Nadia Azzaz ( a pediatrician ) , and he is the father of 3 children. He is a multi linguistic person who had learnt to speak French , Arabic and English. His favorite hobby when he was a teenager was swimming. He and his wife Nadia had immigrated to the United States with only three hundred dollars to continue his studies to become a radiologist. He visits Muslim countries around the world from North Africa to South East Asia for a US science envoy along with Ahmad Zewail and Bruce Albert.


Dr. Elias got his PHD in medicine from the University of Algiers in 1975. After that he left Algeria, along with his wife, however he was hesitant weather to settle in France or in the U.S.A but in the end he decided to settle in America because whenever he visited France he felt uncomfort due to the witnessing of the French colonization of his country. While in the U.S.A he was employed in many different positions, especially in the field of researches, until he was assigned by the former American president, George W Bush, to be the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is considered to be the highest medical status, making him responsible of 27 institution and research centers, 27 thousand employee, and above all responsible for over 28 billion dollars witch is the yearly NIH budget.


Zerhouni chose an unusual specialty after graduation, which is Medical Imaging. Then he joined Hopkins University where he studied radiography and it's use in diagnosis. And in 1978 he was assigned as a professor before the age of 34. And between 1981 and 1985 he worked in the Radiology department in the college of medicine in eastern Virginia working on using radiography as a tool to the diagnosis of early cancer diseases. And he even invented a scanning device in his field, which required him to study deep into physics and mathematics. After that, he went back to the University of Hopkins where he worked as a professor in 1992,then the president of the radiology department in 1996.In that period, Zerhouni has done 157 supported research papers, and received 8 patents for his inventions in radiography. And was awarded the golden medal of science in America and the Chevaliers of the Legion of Honor accolade in France which is the highest accolade in the country.

His ViewsEdit

Zerhouni relates his success to the atmosphere of the scientific society in America, where the element that determine the development of an individual is his work and his efficiency “they don’t care about your origin and they don’t ask who you are, what have you done is what matters .And that is what made me impressed and appreciative for the American society “he said. And when asked whether this view was altered after 9/11 he denied and replied “me for example, was chosen by George Bush in this position in 2002 out of 3 other nominees. And I don’t hide that i trust both the Arabic and the American ingenious, and if there was a universal language, and there is, than it is the language of science”.


JHU Honorary Degrees Awarded (2010) Retrieved 09 May, 2011, from

BME News Highlights (2010) Retrieved 09 May, 2011, from

Pellerin.P (2010) First U.S. Science Envoys Begin Work in Muslim-Majority Countries. Retrieved 09 May, 2011, from


 Abdullah Aljarallah 19:49, May 9, 2011 (UTC)