Harold E. Varmus, MD, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the director of the NCI. Dr. Varmus most recently served as president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Varmus, J. Michael Bishop, MD, and colleagues won the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine when they demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. This led to the isolation of cellular genes that control growth and development and are frequently mutated in human cancer. The NCI directorship will be Dr. Varmus' second go-round heading up a federal institution: He served as director of the NIH from 1993 to 1999.