The Biden administration has selected a Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School as the next director of the National Cancer Institute, according to published reports.
Dr. Monica Bertagnolli will become the first woman to run NCI, according to Stat News, which first reported the appointment citing “two sources familiar with the decision.” The White House has not made an official announcement, and did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Bertagnolli has an extensive background in cancer care, and specializes in gastrointestinal cancers. She is a member of the Gastrointestinal Cancer and Sarcoma Treatment Centers at Dana-Farber, and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. She is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Department of Surgery and at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.
Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center brings together specialists from both Dana-Farber and Brigham to treat a variety of cancers in adults. Surgical oncology takes place at Brigham, but together, the center offers multidisciplinary care including medical, radiation and surgery with innovative treatment.
Bertagnolli is also on the American Cancer Society’s board of directors.
Science.org reported that leaders around the cancer community are praising the appointment, including Ellen Sigal, chair and founder of Friends of Cancer Research and Margaret Foti, CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research.
NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, and leads nationwide cancer research with its has a $6.9 billion budget. It’s also the focus of the Biden administration’s “Cancer Moonshot,” which has a goal to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50% in the next 25 years.