White House Nominates NIH Director, Finally


Francis Collins left the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last time as its director on December 19, 2021. Seventeen months later, the White House has nominated current National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Monica Bertagnolli to be the 17th Director of the NIH. If her nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate, she will be the second woman to hold the post.

Before joining the NCI, Bertagnolli served as a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and before that at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The calendar will serve as a significant hurdle to Dr. Bertagnolli’s Senate approval. It will be difficult for the Senate to confirm her nomination before the end of the calendar year and once she is confirmed, the length of her tenure in the position will depend on the results of the 2024 Presidential election. If President Biden is not re-elected, it is likely the next president would replace her with their own choice.

About the Author:

Kevin M. Wilson serves as Director of Public Policy and Media Relations for The American Society for Cell Biology. He's worked as the Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Weygand (D-RI) and as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI). He has a BA in Politics and American Government from the Catholic University of America. Email: kwilson@ascb.org