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Home Is Where the Heart Is

, by Norman E. Sharpless, M.D.

NCI Director Dr. Norman E. Sharpless

Credit: National Institutes of Health

For the past 7 months, I had the privilege of serving as Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I learned a great deal there (more on that in a future post) from the many talented and dedicated staff who work hard every day to fulfill FDA’s mission of protecting and promoting public health.

However, when I accepted the position of NCI director a little more than 2 years ago, I called it the best job in cancer research, and I still believe that. Striving to make progress against cancer so that we can improve people’s lives is where my heart lies. The breadth and scope of NCI’s research never cease to amaze me, as do the people who work at NCI and their commitment to the mission. 

Needless to say, I couldn’t be more pleased to come back to NCI as director.  

I want to thank Doug Lowy for stepping in once again to lead NCI, with tremendous grace and without hesitancy, during my absence. I had no doubt that his wealth of experience and knowledge, combined with the dedication and support of deputy directors Jim Doroshow and Dinah Singer, would ensure a seamless transition. I know I can count on them to make my return to NCI just as smooth.

I look forward to resuming the work I began when I accepted the NCI director position in October 2017, and that Doug carried forward in the interim toward pursuing NCI’s mission.

It is both an honor and a challenge to lead the National Cancer Program. The opportunities before us are great, and the task is formidable. But working together across the cancer community, I know we can change the face of cancer for future generations. 

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