In DepthBiomedicine

Cancer institute head touts big data and basic research

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Science  05 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6371, pp. 15
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6371.15

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Cancer researchers had worried that President Donald Trump might choose an unconventional candidate to replace Harold Varmus as director of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. But his choice, announced in June 2017, allayed their fears. Norman "Ned" Sharpless, who was then director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, checked all the right boxes for the community: He is a physician-scientist who treats patients, he has started two biotech companies, and he runs a basic research lab. In an interview last month, Sharpless declined to lay out specific plans for the $5.7 billion institute. But he stressed three areas: big data, basic research, and translating discoveries into devices and treatments.