WASHINGTON--Samuel Broder, MD, director of the National Cancer
Institute since 1989, has announced his resignation effective
in April. He will become senior vice president and chief scientific
officer at IVAX Corp., Miami.
In his last presentation to the National Cancer Advisory Board
(NCAB), Dr. Broder also announced that Dr. Robert C. Gallo plans
to retire from his post as chief of the NCI Laboratory of Tumor
Cell Biology. At least two other NCI officials have announced
plans to leave in April: Bruce A. Chabner, director of the division
of cancer treatment, and Michael Sporn, chief of the Laboratory
These announced resignations increase the size of the gap at the
top of NCI administration. Deputy director Daniel C. Ihde and
Richard Adamson, chief of the divison of cancer etiology, both
retired in 1994 and have yet to be replaced.
In bidding farewell to his colleagues on the NCAB, Dr. Broder
listed his three major accomplishments in the 6 years that he
has directed the NCI as "clinical research, clinical research,
and clinical research."
He told the board that he has tried to achieve a balance between
basic research and clinical research, and that he is especially
gratified to have presided over the NCI during a period when deaths
from breast cancer declined dramatically in white women, although
he lamented that among black women, there was no such improvement
in death rate.
Dr. Broder urged care in the current rush to "downsize"
government. "Everyday people all over the country who suffer
from cancer look to the NCI for help. They understand the importance
of research, even if everyone in Congress does not," he said.
NIH Director Harold Varmus issued a statement saying he was sorry
to see Dr. Broder leave. He cited Dr. Broder's "important
contributions to research and to management of the institute,
sometimes under very difficult conditions."