Bertagnolli is a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and is chief of the division of surgical oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has been involved in multiple cancer and oncology groups, including serving as president of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation and CEO of Alliance Foundation Trials.
Bertagnolli will replace Dr. Norman Sharpless, who stepped down from his position as NCI director in April. Sharpless had served as NCI director since 2017.
The choice of Bertagnolli was widely praised by medical groups, including the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), of which she was president from 2018-2019.
"An accomplished cancer surgeon and researcher with deep expertise in community-based cancer research, Dr. Bertagnolli has the knowledge, passion, and skillset to successfully lead the nation's top federal cancer research agency and the wider U.S. cancer research enterprise," an ASCO statement said. "We enthusiastically endorse her selection, recognizing Dr. Bertagnolli's distinguished leadership and experience in advancing evidence-based cancer care and research."
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