President Donald Trump today announced his intention to appoint Norman “Ned” Sharpless to be the next director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sharpless, who is 50 years old, is a physician and currently director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He also holds an academic appointment at the university’s school of medicine.
Sharpless would succeed Harold Varmus as the head of NCI. It is the largest of the institutes at the National Institutes of Health, with a budget of about $5.4 billion this year. Douglas Lowy has been serving as NCI’s acting director since Varmus stepped down in early 2015.
According to a White House announcement distributed late Friday night:
Sharpless earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and his hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care. A practicing oncologist caring for patients with leukemia, Dr. Sharpless also leads a research group studying the cell cycle and its role in cancer and aging. He has authored more than 150 original scientific papers, reviews and book chapters. He holds 10 patents that form the core intellectual property of two NC-based biotechnology startup companies. Dr. Sharpless is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the Association of American Cancer Institutes’ board of directors, and on the National Institute of Aging’s National Advisory Council on Aging.