Press Release: Monica Bertagnolli begins work as 16th director of the National Cancer Institute

Monica M. Bertagnolli, M.D., started today as the 16th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is the first woman to hold the position of NCI director. Dr. Bertagnolli succeeds Norman E. Sharpless, M.D., who stepped down as director in April 2022. Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., has been NCI’s acting director since April 30, 2022.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Bertagnolli to advance the President’s call to end cancer as we know it. Dr. Bertagnolli’s decades of cancer research expertise around patient-centered care and her work to create more inclusive clinical trials will be instrumental as we accelerate the rate of research and innovation to fight cancer,” said Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Health and Human Services. “Cancer knows no bounds and neither should our efforts to prevent cancer deaths. Together, we will reignite and advance the President’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to save lives.”

“Dr. Bertagnolli brings exceptional experience to NIH as a surgical oncologist, professor, scientist and leader in the cancer research community,” said Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., who is performing the duties of the NIH director. “She is ideally suited to lead NCI at a point in time when opportunities abound for major advancements in cancer research and cancer care.”

Dr. Bertagnolli joins NCI from Harvard Medical School where she served as the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the field of surgical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She also was a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a member of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment and Sarcoma Centers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston… Read the full release here.



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