Biden Plans to Nominate Cancer Surgeon to Lead National Institutes of Health

Published: April 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Biden plans to appoint Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, an oncologist who has run the National Cancer Institute for the previous six months — and a most cancers affected person herself — to be the following director of the National Institutes of Health, an administration official mentioned.

If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Bertagnolli can be solely the second girl to function the medical analysis company’s director on a everlasting foundation since its origins within the late 1800s. She is the primary feminine director of the National Cancer Institute, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health.

The White House is predicted to introduced her choice within the coming days, the administration official mentioned. A White House spokeswoman declined to remark, saying a call on the brand new director was not but last. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on her emergence as Mr. Biden’s choose.

Dr. Bertagnolli turned the director of the National Cancer Institute, or N.C.I., in October. Two months later, she introduced that she had acquired a prognosis of early breast most cancers and would start remedy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the place she had labored as a surgical oncologist earlier than becoming a member of the federal authorities. She mentioned her prognosis was good.

“I’m in a waiting period right now, and there are things we don’t know,” she mentioned then. “But thanks to research funded by N.C.I., answers about the treatment that’s best for me will come in time.”

If confirmed, Dr. Bertagnolli would lead one of many world’s premier medical analysis companies, a set of 27 separate institutes and facilities specializing in a big selection of medical issues, together with most cancers, infectious illness, coronary heart and lung illnesses, psychological well being and drug abuse. A department of the federal Health and Human Services Department, the National Institutes of Health has an annual finances of greater than $47 billion, a lot of it dispersed around the globe to finance primary medical analysis.

Dr. Bertagnolli would exchange Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, who has served in an performing capability since Dr. Francis S. Collins stepped down on the finish of 2021 after greater than 12 years as director.

Only one girl — Dr. Bernadine P. Healy, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush — has served because the company’s director, though Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, a longtime federal scientist and N.I.H. administrator, twice served as performing director.

Before becoming a member of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Bertagnolli was a professor of surgical procedure specializing in surgical oncology at Harvard Medical School. Her previous analysis has centered on the gene mutation that spurs the event of gastrointestinal most cancers and on the position that irritation performs within the progress of most cancers.

Ellen V. Sigal, the founder and chairwoman of Friends of Cancer Research, a analysis and advocacy group, mentioned she can be thrilled if the president chosen Dr. Bertagnolli.

“She has every perspective that one would want in an N.I.H. leader,” Ms. Sigal mentioned. “She has basic science. She has clinical experience. She has proven leadership capacity — and now is a patient.”

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