The NIH has not had a permanent director since Dr. Francis Collins, a prominent geneticist, resigned in December 2021.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Monday nominated oncologist Monica Bertagnalli to be the director of the National Institutes of Health.
Bertagnalli is a cancer researcher and surgeon who became the first female director of the NIH National Cancer Institute last fall. If confirmed by the Senate, she will become the second woman to be appointed permanent director of the NIH, one of the world’s leading biomedical research bodies.
“Doctor. Bertagnolli has dedicated her career to pioneering scientific discovery and pushing the boundaries of what is possible to improve cancer prevention and treatment,” Biden said in a statement. She “will ensure the NIH continues to be the engine of innovation to improve the health of the American people.”
Bertagnelli will also bring the patient’s perspective to work. Shortly after becoming NCI director, she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.
“Knowing about cancer as a doctor is one thing, but experiencing it firsthand as a patient is another,” said Bertagnelli when announcing his diagnosis and treatment plan. in December. “To anyone with cancer today: I am truly here with you.”
Cancer is a priority for Biden, who lost his adult son Beau to brain cancer in 2015.
But the NIH, with a budget of $47 billion, funds and oversees many types of medical research beyond cancer, including infectious diseases, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders, diabetes, drug addiction. drugs and mental health.
The NIH has not had a permanent director since Dr. Francis Collins, a prominent geneticist, resigned in December 2021 after 12 years at the helm. If confirmed, Bertagnall will replace the agency’s acting director, Dr. Lawrence Tabak.
Prior to his appointment as director of the NCI, Bertagnalli was a Harvard professor and oncologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The daughter of first-generation Italian and French Basque immigrants, she grew up on a farm in southwestern Wyoming. She earned an engineering degree from Princeton University and attended medical school at the University of Utah.