Dr. Michael Gottesman, chief of the Laboratory of Cell Biology atthe National Cancer Institute since 1990, has been appointedacting head of the National Center for Human Genome Research.

He replaces Dr. James D. Watson, who resigned Friday in thewake of several science policy disputes with National Institutesof Health Director Bernadine Healy and questioning of hisfinancial holdings in biopharmaceutical companies.

The NIH is preparing to assemble a committee to find apermanent replacement and cannot predict how long thesearch will take, according to Ann Thomas, deputy director.

Assembling the committee may be time-consuming because theNIH must find "very high-level people" for the panel to fill sucha high-level position, said Thomas. "We just don't know" howlong the search will take, she said.

Gottesman has been a clinical associate professor at thedepartment of medicine of Georgetown University School ofMedicine since 1987. He was acting deputy chief of theLaboratory of Molecular Biology at the NCI from 1985 to 1987.-- Brenda Deng

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