Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, has been named director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) by President Bush. This appointment follows his recent selection as president-elect of the American Cancer Society.
"Dr. von Eschenbach is one of the nation’s leaders in the battle against cancer," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "I am confident that he will guide NCI to successes in the pursuit of discoveries in the biology, treatment, and prevention of cancer."
Dr. von Eschenbach has spent most of his career at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. After earning his medical degree from Georgetown University, he completed residencies in general surgery and urology at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He served a fellowship in urologic oncology at M. D. Anderson in 1976 and was invited to join the faculty the following year.
Subsequently, Dr. von Eschenbach assumed many titles at M. D. Anderson. He was vice president of academic affairs and executive vice president and chief academic officer. In 1996, he was named founding director of M. D. Anderson’s Prostate Cancer Research Program, and in 1999, he became director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center. He is also vice chairman of the Steering Committee for the National Dialogue on Cancer, and served for 3 years as first chairman of the Prostate Cancer Research Program’s Integration Panel for the Department of Defense.
Dr. von Eschenbach says that while he is encouraged by recent progress against many forms of cancer, he believes that accelerating basic research and applying laboratory findings more rapidly must be high priorities, to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates associated with all cancers.