ASCO Urges Senate to Confirm Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as Next NIH Director

ASCO Past President ‘Ideal’ Candidate to Lead Nation’s Top Research Agency
For immediate release
October 17, 2023


Jennifer Garvin

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are urging members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to approve the nomination of Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, as the next Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during its October 18, 2023, hearing.

Dr. Bertagnolli, current National Cancer Institute Director (NCI), previously served as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, from 2018-2019. She is an accomplished cancer surgeon and researcher with deep expertise in community-based cancer research. In addition to leading the NCI, Dr. Bertagnolli has also played a critical role in elevating the goals of the Cancer Moonshot initiative through the comprehensive National Cancer Plan. According to the White House, her nomination is supported by more than 100 organizations, including leaders in medical research, provider associations, and patient advocacy.

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

“We are delighted that Dr. Bertagnolli is the White House’s nominee to lead the National Institutes of Health. 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, makes her an ideal leader for the nation’s top federal medical research agency at this exciting time in science. Her role shepherding the ambitious goals of the Cancer Moonshot initiative, now included in the comprehensive vision of the National Cancer Plan, have provided our nation with the exact roadmap we need to save more lives from cancer in America.

“Dr. Bertagnolli has the unique combination of scientific background, medical experience, and dynamic leadership skills required to lead the NIH. She is an authentic, bold force for patients and for science. We enthusiastically endorse her selection and look forward to working with her to further our shared goals to advance U.S. medical research.

“We urge senators to promptly confirm Dr. Bertagnolli as the 17th Director of the National Institutes of Health."

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.