INTERVIEW: NIH NCI Director describes his reasons for leaving

NIH NCI Director, Harold Varmus describes his reasons for leaving -– March 27, 2015, By Conor Hale, The Cancer Letter

As part of his farewell speech, “Varmus organized the talk around five points, comparing the institute’s state today to what he encountered in 2010. What he proposed to do, and what he did. What he proposed to do, but feels he did not finish. What he should have envisioned, but didn’’t. Unforeseeable crises, and the institute’s reactions. The future of the NCI and its role in the research community—either immediately, in the hands of soon-to-be Acting Director Lowy, or in the years to follow.”

G2X TAKE: While a new director was formally announced late last week, this farewell speech From Dr. Varmus provides some tangible insight into the direction and challenges that NCI faces. The newly appointed acting Director, Dr. Douglas Lowy, is unlikely to make any big changes; but, as one of the larger and more well-funded institutes at NIH and the lead partner on the $215M Precision Medicine initiative, you can expect a lot of interest if and when new leadership steps in.

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