ASH President Congratulates New National Cancer Institute Director

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(WASHINGTON, October 18, 2017) — Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, of the University of North Carolina, was sworn in as the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, supports research and training initiatives to better understand, diagnose, treat, and cure cancers. A hematologist and ASH member, Dr. Sharpless takes over for Douglas Lowy, MD, who has led the Institute as acting director since 2015.

In response to Dr. Sharpless’ appointment, ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said the following:

“ASH is pleased to learn that Dr. Sharpless, an accomplished cancer researcher and leukemia practitioner, will be leading the National Cancer Institute. He is an internationally recognized scientist and capable leader who will ensure that the Institute’s Precision Medicine and National Cancer Moonshot Initiatives continue without interruption.

“ASH looks forward to working with Director Sharpless and the NCI to ensure that underrepresented cancers of the blood and bone marrow receive increased research focus and better prominence in our national data repositories. Immunotherapy and precision medicine remain shared ASH and NCI research priorities, and the Society is eager to collaborate with Dr. Sharpless and the NCI to advance research in these two promising approaches to cancer treatment.

“We thank Dr. Lowy for his strong leadership over these past two years at the NCI and applaud the agency’s implementation of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative under his management.”


The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal. 

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