Francis Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, and Alondra Nelson, a deputy director at the US Office of Science and Technology Policy, are to take over the posts filled by Eric Lander, Politico reports.
His departure, the New York Times noted, added to gaps in scientific leadership in the Biden Administration that it said might derail its science agenda, such as the recently relaunched Cancer Moonshot initiative. But according to Politico, the White House says Collins and Nelson, who are filling the posts on an interim basis, may be able to keep that agenda on track. "In the selections of Dr. Alondra Nelson and Dr. Francis Collins, President Biden has doubled down on science," the White House says in a statement.
Nelson currently serves as the Deputy Director for Science and Society at OSTP, a recently created position, and is to act as the interim OSTP director. Collins, who stepped down at the end of 2021 as NIH director after 12 years, is to be the interim science advisor and co-chair of the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.