publication date: Aug. 4, 2017

Ned Sharpless set to leave UNC job Aug 4; Starting date as NCI director not publicly known

By Paul Goldberg

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, the scientist slated to be the next NCI director, is departing from his current job, that of director of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, sources said.

While it’s confirmed that Aug. 4 is Sharpless’s last day at Lineberger, it’s less clear what his first day at NCI would be, though insiders say he would likely report to work at the institute by the end of August.

If Sharpless chooses to take a break, this would be in part because following the move to Bethesda, conflict of interest laws would prevent him from claiming accumulated vacation time at Lineberger, an NCI grantee institution. Sharpless has been at Lineberger for 15 years.

Sources at NCI said Sharpless has been meeting with institute officials and making preparations for assuming the job and making a move.

At UNC, his one-time mentor and predecessor, Shelley Earp, will be stepping in as an interim director. At NCI, Sharpless has asked Interim Director Doug Lowy to stay on as a deputy director (The Cancer Letter, June 23).

Lowy has served as acting director at the institute since Harold Varmus stepped down as director in March 2015.

Sharpless declined to speak with this reporter. Presidential appointees rarely speak with the press before assuming their official duties.

On June 9, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Sharpless to the top job at NCI (The Cancer Letter, June 16).

The NCI director’s position doesn’t require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Trump’s announcement of intent to nominate Sharpless, a scientist and cancer center director, came three days after the announcement of appointment of Francis Collins to head NIH.

Sharpless, 50, … Continue reading Ned Sharpless set to leave UNC job Aug 4; Starting date as NCI director not publicly known

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