NCI Director Broder Plans to Resign in April

Oncology NEWS International Vol 4 No 2, Volume 4, Issue 2

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.

WASHINGTON--Samuel Broder, MD, director of the National CancerInstitute since 1989, has announced his resignation effectivein April. He will become senior vice president and chief scientificofficer at IVAX Corp., Miami.

In his last presentation to the National Cancer Advisory Board(NCAB), Dr. Broder also announced that Dr. Robert C. Gallo plansto retire from his post as chief of the NCI Laboratory of TumorCell Biology. At least two other NCI officials have announcedplans to leave in April: Bruce A. Chabner, director of the divisionof cancer treatment, and Michael Sporn, chief of the Laboratoryof Chemoprevention.

These announced resignations increase the size of the gap at thetop of NCI administration. Deputy director Daniel C. Ihde andRichard Adamson, chief of the divison of cancer etiology, bothretired in 1994 and have yet to be replaced.

In bidding farewell to his colleagues on the NCAB, Dr. Broderlisted his three major accomplishments in the 6 years that hehas directed the NCI as "clinical research, clinical research,and clinical research."

He told the board that he has tried to achieve a balance betweenbasic research and clinical research, and that he is especiallygratified to have presided over the NCI during a period when deathsfrom breast cancer declined dramatically in white women, althoughhe lamented that among black women, there was no such improvementin death rate.

Dr. Broder urged care in the current rush to "downsize"government. "Everyday people all over the country who sufferfrom cancer look to the NCI for help. They understand the importanceof research, even if everyone in Congress does not," he said.

NIH Director Harold Varmus issued a statement saying he was sorryto see Dr. Broder leave. He cited Dr. Broder's "importantcontributions to research and to management of the institute,sometimes under very difficult conditions."

The Move to IVAX

IVAX Corp., headed by Phillip Frost, a former member of the NCAB,is known for its generic drug program and acquisition of drugsthat are well along in the development process. It has not engagedin much new drug development or biotechnology research, but maychange directions when Dr. Broder takes his position. One currentproject is development of a synthetic form of paclitaxel (Taxol).