Biden taps Brigham and Women’s surgeon to lead National Cancer Institute



Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, also a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Gastrointestinal Cancer and Sarcoma Treatment Centers, will become the first woman and 16th person to lead the agency.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

President Joe Biden has named a surgeon from Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the next director of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Department of Surgery and a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Gastrointestinal Cancer and Sarcoma Treatment Centers, will become the first woman and 16th person to lead the agency, the White House said in a statement.

In addition to working as a surgical oncologist and clinical researcher, who has long advocated for increasing diversity in cancer research, Bertagnolli is the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the area of ​​Surgical Oncology at Harvard Medical School.

“I am incredibly grateful and honored to have the opportunity to be the next director of the National Cancer Institute,” Bertagnolli said in a statement. “I have been fortunate to work with so many brilliant colleagues who care deeply about eradicating this disease and alleviating the suffering of those who face it. I look forward to supporting them and bringing hope to the entire cancer community through the work of the NCI.

In a statement from the White House, Secretary Xavier Becerra, US Health and Human Services, said, “I look forward to working with Dr. Bertagnolli to advance the President’s call to end cancer as we do. know.

“Dr. Bertagnolli’s decades of cancer research expertise around patient-centered care and his work to create more inclusive clinical trials will be instrumental as we accelerate the pace of research and innovation to fight cancer,” continued Becerra. “Cancer knows no bounds, and neither should our efforts to prevent cancer deaths. Lives.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital leaders also shared their support for the news.

“We can think of no one better to lead the NCI and guide our country’s collective efforts to eradicate cancer and alleviate the suffering of patients and loved ones affected by this disease,” said Dr. Robert SD Higgins, President of Brigham and Women’s. A declaration.

“Dr. Bertagnolli’s credentials and tremendous accomplishments throughout her career have prepared her for this key role in our country,” Higgins continued. Bertagnolli for serving our nation in this important role.”

Dr. Gerard Doherty, Chairman of the Department of Surgery, praised Bertagnolli’s dedication to his work stating that “His experience in providing exceptional clinical care, promoting multidisciplinary collaboration and advancing scientific discovery makes she is an exceptional choice for this important leadership role.”

Bertagnolli also “led several initiatives within NCI-funded cooperative cancer groups, where she facilitated the integration of tumor-specific molecular markers into national cancer treatment protocols, improving patient care and outcomes. patients across the country,” the hospital noted in a statement.

She is currently the Group Chair for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, an NCI-funded national clinical trials group, and CEO of Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC, a not-for-profit corporation that conducts international clinical trials. on cancer.

Dr. Doug Lowy, acting director of the National Cancer Institute, shared his excitement over the announcement on Twitter, noting, “This is great news for the NCI and the cancer research community.



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