Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Harold Varmus,  for director of the National Cancer Institute.

Harold Varmus, a former Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, and co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), has served as the President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City since January 2000.

Varmus received his medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was trained in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

“Dr. Harold Varmus brings a vast wealth of expertise to this key leadership position at the Department. Among his many professional distinctions, he is a Nobel laureate in cancer genetics; has been president of one of the premier cancer research and treatment institutions for the past decade; and previously has served the public as NIH director in the 1990s.  His contributions in understanding new knowledge about cancer have provided a foundation for treatments that have helped so many,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“Today, cancer research is poised to move forward at an unprecedented speed and Harold is ideally qualified to lead the revolution to fight this formidable disease.”

“It is exhilarating and gratifying to have my good friend and colleague Harold Varmus back at NIH,” Francis Collins, MD, PhD, NIH Director said.  “We are extremely fortunate that he accepted the position as NCI Director.  Harold brings unmatched expertise at all levels—not only in cutting edge scientific research, but also as a leader in the development of strategies for improving patient care, education and training, and in designing novel public-private partnerships.  I look forward to working together with him as we move forward on the development of new and powerful approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.”

View President Obama’s announcement online.

Source: HHS