Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, is the current Director of the National Cancer Institute. He previously served as co-chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Much of Varmus’ scientific work was conducted during 23 years as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School. Varmus has authored more than 300 scientific papers and five books, including The Art and Politics of Science, published in 2009. He has received the National Medal of Science, the Vannevar Bush Award, and several honorary degrees and other prizes, in addition to the Nobel Prize.
Varmus is also a co-founder of the Public Library of Science, a publisher of open-access journals in the biomedical sciences. He currently chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Advisory Committee, and is involved in several initiatives to promote science in developing countries, including the Global Science Corps, through the Science Initiatives Group.