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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC, Ad Hoc Group Applaud Biden’s Science Team


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations

    The AAMC and the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research expressed support for the scientists and leaders nominated and appointed on Jan. 15 to President Joe Biden’s science team.

    In an announcement highlighting the importance of science to the new administration, President Biden nominated Eric Lander, PhD, to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and he elevated that role to a Cabinet-level position. Lander — a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician — would be the first life scientist to serve as OSTP director if confirmed by the Senate.

    President Biden also announced that current National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, will maintain his role in the new administration.

    AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, in a Jan. 15 press release commended President Biden “for elevating science to a national priority by elevating the Presidential Science Advisor to a Cabinet level position and selecting immensely qualified and experienced leaders to guide the administration’s science policy decisions.” Skorton added, “From fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to addressing health disparities to developing medical treatments and diagnostics, an evidence-based approach to policy must direct the way forward on the nation’s health challenges.”

    “Since his initial appointment in 2009, Dr. Collins has been an ardent advocate for biomedical research and continues to inspire young scientists to pursue a career in research,” the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research said in a Jan. 15 press statement. “Collins has played an integral role in the nation’s COVID-19 response through efforts to operationalize cross-agency collaborations to develop vaccines, therapeutics, and testing strategies for the novel coronavirus.”

    Describing other highlights of Collins’ tenure at the helm of the NIH, the statement continued, “We look forward to continuing to work with President-elect Biden’s strong science team to help combat the ongoing pandemic and further advance medical research that leads to life-changing treatments and cures for millions of Americans.”