dr Monica Bertagnolli speaks during a visit by First Lady Jill Biden at the University of California San Francisco’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco, Friday, October 7, 2022.
Jeff Chiu | AP
President Joe Biden will become Dr. nominate. Monica Bertagnollia cancer surgeon, will lead the National Institutes of Health, the White House announced Monday.
Bertagnolli is the current director of the National Cancer Institute and the first woman to head the organization.
The NIH has a budget of approximately $45 billion and funds medical research in the United States and around the world. The agency played a crucial role in developing the messenger RNA technology that underlies the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna.
In a statement, Biden called Bertagnolli “a world-class physician and scientist whose vision and leadership will ensure that the NIH continues to be an engine of innovation to improve the health of the American people.”
The NIH has not had a Senate-appointed director since Dr. Francis Collins, who had headed the agency for more than 12 years, resigned in December 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. dr Lawrence Tabak currently serves as acting director of the agency.
Bertagnolli was previously a professor of cancer surgery at Harvard Medical School and a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Biden said that as director of the National Cancer Institute, she helped advance White House goals Cancer Moonshot Initiative that aims to reduce deaths from the disease by 50% over the next 25 years.
“Dr. Bertagnolli has spent her career pioneering scientific discoveries and pushing the boundaries of what is possible to improve cancer prevention and treatment for patients and ensure patients in every community have access to quality care,” Biden said.