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'Government Sources' Confirm Varmus Will Head NCI

Science Insider and the Wall Street Journal's health blog are both speculating about the possibility that Nobel laureate Harold Varmus — former director of the National Institutes of Health — will soon be named director of the National Cancer Institute. Rumors that Varmus would soon head up NCI began shortly after he issued a public letter saying he had asked Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's board to begin looking for his successor as president, according to the WSJ. According to D.C.-based newsletter The Cancer Letter, "multiple sources in the federal government and outside it confirmed that the announcement appears imminent." On March 7, Science ran a story in which Varmus denied that he would become director of the NCI, calling the rumors "far-fetched."