Nobel Prize Winner Chosen To Be Director Of The National Cancer Institute

Nobel Prize Winner Chosen To Be Director Of The National Cancer InstituteThe White House announcing the Director of the National Cancer Institute Monday, has nominated Dr. Harold E. Varmus, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist and former director of the National Institutes of Health for the post.

Following a lengthy search, Dr, Varmus, currently President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, was selected by President Obama.

He is expected to shake up the much-criticized federal cancer programme, as in a recent report, the National Academy of Sciences said the nation’s system for judging the clinical effectiveness of cancer treatments managed by the cancer institute, was in a critical state.

Senate confirmation of the President’s appointment of the director of the cancer institute is not required. President George W. Bush appointed Dr. John E. Niederhuber, the current director of the cancer institute in 2006.

Dr. Varmus’s return to Washington is unusual, because from 1993 to 1999, he led the agency of which the cancer institute is part, being the director of the health institutes, under President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Varmus, 70, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1989 for studies showing how certain normal genes caused cancer when they went awry, which opened a new era in cancer research.

Dr. Varmus, whose father was also a doctor, obtained a graduate degree in English from Harvard before attending medical school at Columbia University. He intends to ride to work on his bicycle when he starts his new job in July.