Trump Taps UNC Scientist To Head Cancer Institute

Jun 12, 2017

President Trump nominated Dr. Norman Sharpless of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for the director of the National Cancer Institute.
Credit Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center / UNC

President Trump nominated Dr. Norman Sharpless as director of the National Cancer Institute.

Sharpless, who goes by “Ned,” is the director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Wellcome Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research at UNC.

Work from his lab has led to groundbreaking discoveries in the treatment of cancers, and served as the foundation to launch the drug developer G1 Therapeutics, now based in Chapel Hill. He has authored more than 150 original scientific papers, reviews and book chapters, and holds 10 patents, according to the White House.

“Dr. Sharpless is a visionary leader and a truly gifted scientist and clinician, and we strongly agree he would be an excellent choice to lead the National Cancer Institute into the future,” said UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt, in a statement.

Sharpless’ position atop NCI, which does not require confirmation, would put two scientists with UNC connections in Trump’s administration. Last week, the White House announced that Francis Collins will stay on as director of the National Institutes of Health. Collins is an alum of UNC School of Medicine and he completed his residency at N.C. Memorial Hospital.