AACI Congratulates Dr. Monica Bertagnolli on Appointment as NCI Director

The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) commends the Biden administration on its decision to appoint surgical oncologist Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as the next director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition to being the first woman to serve as the NCI director, Dr. Bertagnolli is the first woman to hold the title of chief of surgical oncology at AACI member center Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Bertagnolli is also a longtime advocate of increasing diversity in cancer research as it applies to physicians, researchers, and patients enrolled in clinical trials.

As an association representing 104 leading academic cancer centers in the U.S. and Canada, AACI enjoys a longstanding relationship with NCI leadership.

“AACI prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly as they relate to the cancer center leadership pipeline and clinical trials,” said Caryn Lerman, PhD, AACI president and director of USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We look forward to working with Dr. Bertagnolli to advance our common goals.”

Dr. Lerman also expressed AACI’s appreciation for the exceptional leadership of Drs. Norman E. Sharpless and Douglas R. Lowy, NCI’s former director and acting director.


AACI’s mission is to accelerate progress against cancer by enhancing the impact of North America’s leading academic cancer centers. For more information, please visit aaci-cancer.org.