New Director of the National Cancer Institute Appointed

January 1, 2002

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.

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, has beennamed director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) by President Bush. Thisappointment follows his recent selection as president-elect of the AmericanCancer Society.

"Dr. von Eschenbach is one of the nation’s leaders in thebattle against cancer," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G.Thompson. "I am confident that he will guide NCI to successes in thepursuit of discoveries in the biology, treatment, and prevention ofcancer."

Dr. von Eschenbach has spent most of his career at M. D.Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. After earning his medical degree fromGeorgetown University, he completed residencies in general surgery and urologyat the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He served a fellowship in urologiconcology at M. D. Anderson in 1976 and was invited to join the faculty thefollowing year.

Subsequently, Dr. von Eschenbach assumed many titles at M. D.Anderson. He was vice president of academic affairs and executive vice presidentand chief academic officer. In 1996, he was named founding director of M. D.Anderson’s Prostate Cancer Research Program, and in 1999, he became directorof the Genitourinary Cancer Center. He is also vice chairman of the SteeringCommittee for the National Dialogue on Cancer, and served for 3 years as firstchairman of the Prostate Cancer Research Program’s Integration Panel for theDepartment of Defense.

Dr. von Eschenbach says that while he is encouraged by recentprogress against many forms of cancer, he believes that accelerating basicresearch and applying laboratory findings more rapidly must be high priorities,to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates associated with all cancers.