Final NCAB Meeting of 2010 Held Last Week
The National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) held its final meeting of 2010 in Bethesda, MD, on December 7. NCI Director Dr. Harold Varmus provided an update on the status of NCI’s budget and announced plans to add several new members to his senior staff. (See the related note below.)
Dr. James H. Doroshow, director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, gave a presentation on the Operational Efficiency Working Group, which is addressing recommendations from the Institute of Medicine on transforming NCI's Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program. (See the Conversation with Dr. Doroshow in this issue.)
In addition, researchers from NCI’s Center for Cancer Research highlighted progress in prostate cancer imaging, including molecular imaging and image-guided biopsies. (See Testing a “Smarter” Biopsy for Prostate Cancer from the October 19 issue.)
NCAB members also heard a status report from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, including the future of genome-wide association studies, the burden of cancer in immunosuppressed people in the United States, and medical radiation exposure.
NCI Director Announces New Senior Staff Member
During his Director’s Report to the National Cancer Advisory Board, Dr. Harold Varmus announced the appointment of a new addition to his senior staff.
Rick Borchelt will join the Office of the Director as a special assistant for public affairs. Borchelt most recently served as executive communications director for the Pew-funded Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University and as communications director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research, Education, and Economics Mission Area. An award-winning science writer, Borchelt has directed media relations for the National Academy of Sciences, acted as press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee, and was special assistant for public affairs in the Executive Office of The President during the Clinton administration.
Borchelt also held senior communications positions at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT. He spent time abroad in Nairobi, Kenya, as executive speechwriter to the United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. A former reports editor for the journal Science Communication, Borchelt also is a past president of the D.C. Science Writers Association.