Director of National Cancer Institute to step down

Norman Sharpless, MD, is stepping down as director of the National Cancer Institute, the agency announced April 4 in a news release

He will continue to serve as director through April 29, after which NCI Principal Deputy Director Douglas Lowy, MD, will take over as acting director. Dr. Sharpless has held the position since 2017, and during his time has developed several programs, including the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, and championed health equity and diversity in the field according to the release. 

"During my time in the federal government, I have been inspired by the ways that researchers, caregivers, advocates, and survivors have broken down silos to collaborate and embrace new ways of working together to solve some of the toughest problems in cancer," Dr. Sharpless said. 

"We have been fortunate to have Dr. Sharpless as director of the National Cancer Institute the past four and a half years," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "I am especially grateful for his leadership of NCI's contributions to the COVID-19 response and his work to minimize the pandemic's impact on people with cancer."

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