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Satish Gopal, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Center for Global Health

Dr. Satish Gopal standing in front of window

Satish Gopal, M.D., M.P.H.

Director, Center for Global Health

Satish Gopal, M.D., M.P.H. was appointed Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2020. In this role, he oversees the development of initiatives and collaborations with other NCI and NIH partners, NCI-designated cancer centers, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to support cancer research, promote science-based cancer control, and build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. Before coming to NCI, Dr. Gopal was the Cancer Program Director for the University of North Carolina collaboration with the Malawi Ministry of Health.

Dr. Gopal earned his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine in 2001. He completed training in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan, lived and worked in Tanzania from 2007 to 2009, then returned to the United States to pursue medical oncology and infectious disease training at the University of North Carolina. He lived with his family in Malawi from 2012 to 2019, when he was the only medical oncologist in the country and treated public sector cancer patients at the national teaching hospital alongside Malawian colleagues. He returned frequently to provide clinical service in the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.

As an extramural physician-scientist, his NIH-funded research program focused on epidemiologic, clinical, and translational studies of lymphoma and HIV-associated malignancies in Africa and he oversaw a multidisciplinary cancer research portfolio which sought to address many of the commonest cancers in the region, including cervical, breast, and esophageal cancer. This program generated some of the first published studies in Africa to describe detailed molecular profiles for specific cancer types, characterize several unique lymphoproliferative disorders, report clinical trials of targeted cancer therapy, perform economic evaluations of cancer treatment, and integrate patient-reported outcome measurements. He has authored more than 130 publications in journals such as NEJM, JAMA, Lancet, and Nature Medicine among others, and mentored more than 30 early-career U.S. and African pre- and post-doctoral cancer researchers, many of whom hold academic positions in global oncology at NCI-designated cancer centers, African academic institutions, and other international organizations. He has spoken widely and provided leadership and expertise on various working groups, review committees, and boards. He previously served as the Associate Chair for African International Sites for the NCI AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) with oversight responsibility for the network’s African clinical trials. He currently serves as the U.S. representative on the Scientific Council for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

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