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Sharpless for NCI

Norman Sharpless is to be President Donald Trump's pick to lead the National Cancer Institute, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

Sharpless, a physician at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, directs the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center there and is a co-founder of the biopharmaceutical company G1 Therapeutics. Michael Caligiuri, president of the American Association for Cancer Research tells ScienceInsider that Sharpless "brings impressive qualifications to this extremely important position." 

"I've known Dr. Sharpless professionally for many years as an outstanding scientist, clinician, and administrator, and we are very fortunate to have him join the NIH leadership team," NIH Director Francis Collins says in a statement.

ScienceInsider notes that Sharpless would succeed Harold Varmus, who stepped down as NCI director in 2015 to move to Weill Cornell Medicine. Douglas Lowy has since been serving as the agency's acting director.

Varmus calls Sharpless an "excellent choice," at ScienceInsider.