Dr. Harold Varmus
Dr. Varmus won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with J. Michael Bishop), in 1989 for his work on the proto-oncogene, which enhanced our understanding of cancer. Dr. Varmus was appointed Director of the National Cancer Institute by President Obama in 2010, a position he held until 2015. In the appointment speech, President Obama said, “The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it’s about protecting free and open inquiry… I am grateful that Dr. Varmus has answered the call to serve again.”
Dr. Varmus formerly served as the Director of the National Institutes of Health (appointed by Bill Clinton) and the CEO of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. Dr. Varmus is also the co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Varmus spent time in India in the 60s as a medical student in a mission hospital in Bareilly. Prime Minister Modi met Dr. Varmus on his visit to the US and invited him to advise India on setting up cancer institutes across the country.