Dr. Douglas Lowy has been officially named acting director of the National Cancer Institute, following the March 31 exit of Dr. Harold Varmus as director. Dr. Lowy had been serving as the National Cancer Institute’s deputy director since July 2010, according to a statement issued by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Harold Varmus announced he would be stepping down as director in a letter to the NCI community on March 4. In that letter, Dr. Varmus also announced that President Obama had approved the appointment of “close friend” Dr. Lowy, to serve as acting director. “This gives me enormous pleasure, because Doug – along with Jim Doroshow, the NCI’s Deputy Director for Clinical and Translational Research – made many of NCI’s recent accomplishments possible. …The NCI will be in excellent hands,” Dr. Varmus said.

Dr. Lowy recently received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama for research spanning more than 25 years that led to the development of the human papillomavirus vaccine. Dr. Lowy received his medical degree from New York University and trained in internal medicine at Stanford (Calif.) University and dermatology at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., the statement said.


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