Monica Bertagnolli named new director of National Cancer Institute

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Today, President Joe Biden announced that he is appointing Monica Bertagnolli, MD, surgical oncologist in the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and member of the Gastrointestinal and Sarcoma Treatment Centers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  She is also Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology at Harvard Medical School.

Bertagnolli is a world-renowned surgical oncologist with extensive leadership experience, including serving as president of American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2018. 

Bertagnolli will lead the country’s largest biomedical research institute, integral to the nation’s principal agency for cancer research and funding and will be an important partner in the White House’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative which aims to accelerate the rate of progress against cancer.

“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, US 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.”

“Monica will be a superb leader at the NCI and will have a meaningful impact on its work at a time when cancer research is so promising. She is an eminent surgeon and her extensive clinical and leadership experience will help propel the important work of the NCI. We’re very proud that President Biden has chosen her for this important role,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the next director of the National Cancer Institute,” said Bertagnolli. “I’ve had the good fortune of working with so many brilliant colleagues who care deeply about eradicating this disease and alleviating the suffering of those who face it. I’m looking forward to supporting them and bringing hope to the entire cancer community through the work of the NCI.”

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