Barry Kramer retires from NCI

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Barry Kramer, NCI’s cancer prevention expert and an advocate for rigorous science announced his intention to retire from the institute.

In an email dated Nov. 2, Kramer wrote:

My wife, Ruthie, and I have decided to retire on Jan. 3. It has been a long and gratifying career. I have had the honor to serve in a variety of positions that I could not have even dreamed about when I entered oncology fellowship in 1975. Along the way, I have been a close witness to, and sometimes even a participant in, the unfolding of cancer research history and clinical trials with important public health impact. More importantly, I have had the opportunity to work with so many dedicated professional colleagues, many of whom I consider close friends. Thank you for all of those opportunities and interactions. I also want to thank the staff of the Division of Cancer Prevention for making the last seven years so fulfilling and productive.


In an email blast to the NCI staff, Institute Director Ned Sharpless wrote:

Dear NCI Colleagues,

After 38 years of distinguished government service, Dr. Barry Kramer, Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), will retire in early January. His departure caps a truly impressive career and will be a profound loss to the Institute.

Barry has played many critical roles over the course of his career. Prior to his 7-year tenure as DCP director, Barry served as the Division’s deputy director, Associate Director for Disease Prevention at NIH, and Director of the Office of Medical Applications of Research, home of the NIH Consensus Development Program. He has been central to many of NCI’s most important cancer screening trials, including but not limited to the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, and the National Lung Screening Trial.

Barry was a driving force in the development and evolution of NCI’s Physician Data Query (PDQ); he has served as Editor-in-Chief of PDQ’s Screening and Prevention Editorial Board since its inception in 1991 and has served as a member of the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board since 1988. He has also served as an NIH liaison to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. For many years, in addition to his full-time NIH and NCI responsibilities, he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In each of these roles he stood firm as a tireless champion and advocate for the rigorous evaluation of medical evidence, careful to avoid unquestioned assessments and intuitively appealing answers. This interest and commitment also led him to pioneer development of a multi-day course to arm health journalists to accurately cover medical research, “Medicine in the Media,” which trained some of the leading journalists covering cancer science.

I am personally grateful for Barry’s wise counsel and innumerable contributions to NCI and to cancer research more broadly. While we will miss him, I know you will join me in thanking Barry for his service and congratulating him on his retirement.

A decision regarding DCP leadership following his departure will be made in the days ahead.



In This Issue


President Joe Biden’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health would be a welcome partner to NCI—particularly in conducting large, collaborative clinical investigations, NCI Director Ned Sharpless said.“I think having ARPA-H as part of the NIH is good for the NCI,” Sharpless said April 11 in his remarks at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. “How this would fit with the ongoing efforts in cancer at the NCI is still something to work out.”