Biden nominates Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to serve as next NIH director

President Joe Biden announced on Monday that he's nominating Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the next director of the National Institutes of Health.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced on Monday that he’s nominating Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the next director of the National Institutes of Health.

The White House described Bertagnolli as “a world-renowned surgical oncologist, cancer researcher, educator, and physician-leader who has the vision and leadership needed to deliver on NIH’s mission to seek fundamental knowledge and promote human health.”

“Dr. Bertagnolli has spent her career pioneering scientific discovery and pushing the boundaries of what is possible to improve cancer prevention and treatment for patients, and ensuring that patients in every community have access to quality care,” Biden said in a statement.

Bertagnolli has been serving as the director of the National Cancer Institute since October 2022, where Biden said she has advanced his Cancer Moonshot effort to end cancer.

“She has brought together partners and resources from different sectors to launch groundbreaking efforts in cancer prevention and early detection, a national navigation program for childhood cancers, and additional programs to bring clinical trials to more Americans,” Biden said.

Bertagnolli previously worked as a professor of surgery specializing in surgical oncology at Harvard Medical School. She also was a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

She has been “at the forefront of clinical and research oncology,” the White House said. Her online biography says that she helped advance the current understanding of a gene mutation that could lead to gastrointestinal cancer and the role of inflammation in cancer growth.

She is set to take over from Lawrence Tabak who has been serving as the acting director of the NIH since December 2021 when Francis Collins stepped down after leading the federal agency since being nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009.

The position of NIH director requires Senate confirmation. The upper chamber unanimously confirmed Collins to the post.

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