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article imageHarold Varmus to step down as head of U.S. cancer research

By Tim Sandle     Mar 14, 2015 in Odd News
Washington D.c. - Harold Varmus, who has led the US National Cancer Institute since 2010, is to leave the role at the end of the March 2015.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Harold Varmus is to leave his post at the end of March 2015. Varmus has held the position since July 2010. NCI announced that Douglas Lowy, the current deputy director, will become acting director of the agency beginning April 1.
The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of 11 agencies that are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NCI coordinates the U.S. National Cancer Program and conducts and supports cancer research, training, and health education.
In an open letter to staff, Varmus wrote: “I take this step with a mixture of regret and anticipation. Regret, because I will miss this job and my working relationships with so many dedicated and talented people. Anticipation, because I look forward to new opportunities to pursue scientific work in the city, New York, that I continue to call home.”
The letter met with a response from U.S. President Barack Obama, who stated: “The past five years have not been easy times financially for biomedical research, including cancer research, but they continue to be extraordinarily promising scientifically.”
Continuing with the tributes, Director Francis Collins said in a statement: "It has been our great fortune to have Harold at the helm of the NCI. His breadth and depth of expertise in biomedical research is unparalleled, and he’s been a tremendous colleague to me and invaluable to the agency."
Harold Varmus is to become Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College, specializing in cancer research.
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