This morning, Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., announced his decision to step down as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a position he has held since 2017, on April 29, 2022. NCI Principal Deputy Director Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., will serve as NCI’s acting director following Dr. Shapless’s departure.
The following is a statement from the National Brain Tumor Society’s leadership.
“During his years of service, Dr. Sharpless has led transformative initiatives that have benefitted the cancer community and placed a special emphasis on those with adult and pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Sharpless acutely understood the urgent unmet needs of the brain tumor community and was an active partner in developing innovative new government projects and funding sources to advance research toward cures and better quality of life for children and adults diagnosed with these recalcitrant cancers. Dr. Sharpless consistently engaged with brain tumor patient advocates and researchers and was instrumental in launching initiatives like Project HOPE & GBM CARE and the Glioblastoma Therapeutics Network, both of which underscore the importance of taking new approaches to change the status quo for patients, which has remained virtually stagnant for far too long. Additionally, Dr. Sharpless’s leadership to launch the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative has put the NCI on a forward path with a clear agenda to harness data and fuel innovation in the research and development of treatments for childhood cancers, including pediatric brain tumors. We have appreciated his expertise, energy, forward-thinking approach, and collaborative spirit, and he will be missed by the brain tumor patient advocacy community.
NBTS thanks Dr. Sharpless for his service and partnership and looks forward to continuing to work with Dr. Lowy and the rest of the NCI’s leadership to improve the lives of the 700,000 Americans currently living with brain tumors.”
Building on over 30 years of experience, the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) unrelentingly invests in, mobilizes, and unites the brain tumor community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for patients and caregivers. Our focus on defeating brain tumors and improving the quality of patients’ lives is powered by our partnerships across science, health care, policy, and business sectors. We fund treatments-focused research and convene those most critical to curing brain tumors once and for all. Join us at BrainTumor.org.