ASCO Applauds Confirmation of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as NIH Director

ASCO Past President Becomes 17th Director to Lead Nation’s Top Research Agency
For immediate release


Jennifer Garvin

The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, by a vote of 62-36, on November 7, 2023, as the 17th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Bertagnolli is currently director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She served as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from 2018-2019 and is an accomplished cancer surgeon and researcher with deep expertise in community-based cancer research. In addition to leading the NCI, Dr. Bertagnolli also played a critical role in elevating the goals of the Cancer Moonshot initiative through the comprehensive National Cancer Plan.

A statement from ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, follows:

“The nation has gained a dynamic and visionary leader with today’s confirmation of Dr. Bertagnolli as Director of NIH. We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate her new role leading the nation’s top federal medical research agency.

“Dr. Bertagnolli’s experience in all aspects of medical research, clinical care, and commitment to advancing science, as well as her own experience as a patient, make her the ideal leader for NIH and we know that she will accomplish remarkable things during this exciting time in science.

“As she shared in her confirmation hearing, she is a tireless advocate for increasing access to health care in rural areas, challenging the status quo and working to remove barriers to patient participation in clinical research.

“Dr. Bertagnolli is an authentic, bold force for patients and for science. We are thrilled with her confirmation and look forward to working with her and the dedicated professionals at NIH to further our shared goals to advance U.S. medical research and the health of all Americans.”

About ASCO: 

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (the Society) and the Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) are committed to the principle that knowledge conquers cancer and represent nearly 50,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of high quality, equitable patient care, the Society works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. The Association works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high quality, equitable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more about the Society at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn more about the Association at and follow us on Twitter.