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 of Chemoprevention.
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."