White House Plans to Nominate NCI Director to NIH Director Position

(Washington, DC) According to news reports, the White House plans to Monica M. Bertagnolli, who has been serving  as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since last fall, to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If confirmed, Dr. Betagnolli would take over leadership of the agency, which has been without a permanent Director since the retirement of Francis S. Collins, PhD, in December 2021.  Lawrence A. Tabak, PhD, an NIH administrator who had previously served as Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) from 2000-2010, has been serving as acting director of the NIH while the agency waited for the White House to select a new leader.

Before her arrival at the NCI, Dr. Bertagnolli was a surgeon at the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center in Boston, where she was chief of surgical oncology for a decade. Dr. Bertagnolli grew up on her family’s Wyoming cattle ranch, before attending Princeton University and the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Dr. Bertagnolli would take over the NIH at a challenging time, as Congressional Republicans have been seeking answers about whether the agency’s funding of virus research inadvertently led to the COVID-19 pandemic,  with a focus on agency grants to EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that studied coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org