AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney Jr., MD, issued the following statement following President Biden’s announcement of his intent to nominate Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as the next director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“The AAMC commends President Biden on his intent to nominate Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as director of the National Institutes of Health. In her current role as director of the National Cancer Institute at the NIH, and as a surgeon previously at the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Bertagnolli has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving people’s health by advancing medical science.
The NIH plays a critical role in improving the health and well-being of families and communities through groundbreaking foundational discovery and life-saving medical research conducted by approximately 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools, and research institutions in every state in the nation, and serves as an important program of intramural research at the NIH campus. More than half of the research that NIH supports occurs at AAMC member institutions pursuing advances in disease prevention, treatment, and diagnosis across the full spectrum of conditions facing patients everywhere.
A distinguished clinician, scientist, and executive leader, Dr. Bertagnolli served as the president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Throughout her career, she has advocated for increasing diversity in cancer care – both in advancing the diversity of doctors who are treating patients and conducting research, and in the racial and geographic makeup of people enrolled in clinical trials.
Over its history, the NIH has enjoyed a strong tradition of exceptional leaders, most recently with Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD, currently serving the duties of the director of the NIH. The AAMC strongly believes that Dr. Bertagnolli will build on that longstanding legacy to take the NIH to new heights as the agency works to improve the health of people everywhere. We urge the Senate to work quickly and in a bipartisan manner to confirm Dr. Bertagnolli and ensure a seamless transition of this role.”