Biden To Appoint New Director of Cancer Institute

President Joe Biden | Image by Gints Ivuskans

President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he intends to appoint a Vanderbilt physician as the 17th director of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell currently serves as the physician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and will be appointed as the next leader of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Rathmell also serves on the NCI’s Board of Scientific Advisors and has previously held leadership roles in the National Institute of Health Cancer Genome Atlas.

A news release from the White House detailed the national recognition Rathmell has received for her work.

Rathmell was elected as the president of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the secretary of the treasury for the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

Rathmell has also been inducted into the Association of American Physicians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine.

Biden stated in the release that Rathmell is the “talented and visionary leader the National Cancer Institute needs to drive us toward ending cancer as we know it.”

“Throughout her career, she has been committed to advancing discovery through scientific research, maintaining a steadfast commitment to caring for her patients, and demonstrating leadership in preparing the next generation of researchers,” the president said.

“The National Cancer Institute is central to the success of the Cancer Moonshot and Dr. Rathmell will lead the agency towards new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer and to ensure we reach more Americans with the tools we have to save and extend lives.”

This appointment also received support from Xavier Becerra, who currently serves as secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Dr. Rathmell is an extraordinary physician-scientist with decades of experience helping to advance research and drive innovation to improve care for patients. She will be a visionary leader of NCI and I look forward to working with her to help prevent, detect, and treat cancer to make sure Americans are living longer, healthier lives,” said Becerra in a statement.

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