BETHESDA, MarylandRichard D. Klausner, MD, resigned as director of the National Cancer Institute in September to head the Case Institute for Health, Science and Technology. AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case and his wife Jean established the new organization as part of their nonprofit Case Foundation.
The Case Institute will pursue interdisciplinary research involving biological, physical, and information scientists "to accelerate medical and scientific discovery and technology development that can ultimately improve the lives of people throughout the world," Mr. Case said.
The Case Institute will be based in Washington, DC. Dr. Klausner, however, will not completely sever his ties with NCI. He will have a laboratory there as a "special volunteer" to continue research he pursued throughout his tenure as director.
In this interview with ONI Washington bureau chief Patrick Young, Dr. Klausner discusses his departure from NCI and his plans for the Case Institute. In an upcoming issue, Dr. Klausner will talk with Mr. Young about his accomplishments at NCI, the state of cancer research today, and the looming funding issues as the 5-year effort to double the NIH budget nears an end.
Oncology News International: Why did you decide to leave NCI?
Dr. Klausner: It is never clear that there is a perfect time to leave. I expected to do this job for 5 years, and I was in my seventh year. Frankly, I was feeling restless. I felt that I had accomplished much of the agenda that I had come to NCI to accomplish.
I felt I had set in place new directions and a new formulation for the Institute’s processes. I felt the Institute was in good shape with terrific people, and we had changed the culture in many ways to make NCI more open.