NIH Press Release
National Cancer Institute

Wednesday, July 23, 1997

NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641

NCI Announces Reorganization and Two Senior Appointments

Richard D. Klausner, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), today announced two senior appointments and organizational changes intended to strengthen NCI's cancer control and prevention programs, and the administration of its extramural research programs. All actions will be effective Oct. 1.

Robert E. Wittes, M.D., director of the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis and Centers (DCTDC), will become Deputy Director for Extramural Science (DDES), a newly created position. He will be responsible for the oversight, integration, coordination, and enhanced communication across the institute's extramural programs, which account for more than 80 percent of the NCI budget. He will also continue as the division director.

Klausner called Wittes a "wise and knowledgeable leader with breadth of experience in oncology, and a vision of the future of the NCI."

Barbara K. Rimer, Dr.P.H., now professor and director of Duke University's Cancer Prevention, Detection and Control Research Program, will become the first director of a newly created NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Science (DCCPS). Rimer has been chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board for three years, and will step down as both chair and board member Oct. 1.

Klausner said the reorganization creates two new extramural divisions, the DCCPS to be directed by Rimer, and the Division of Cancer Prevention, whose acting director will be Peter Greenwald, M.D., Dr.P.H.

The DCCPS will be the new focus for NCI-sponsored research programs aimed at studies in populations, behavior, surveillance, special populations, outcomes, and other aspects of cancer control. It will be created from cancer control programs currently within NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, which will be abolished Oct. 1, and the extramural portions of NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. The Office of Cancer Survivorship, created last fall, will also be part of this new division.

Klausner said that creation of this new division continues the work at NCI to successfully separate the intramural and extramural divisions, a step recommended in 1995 by the Bishop-Calabresi Committee, a group of outside experts that reviewed NCI's intramural program from top to bottom.

"This new division also emphasizes our commitment to population science, behavior, surveillance, and cancer control," Klausner said. He called the new division director, Rimer, "a natural leader and an articulate spokesperson for the National Cancer Program." He added that "her willingness to take on this important new leadership role is, I believe, a powerful statement regarding the revitalization of the NCI."

He said that Rimer has achieved national and international prominence for her research on the behavioral aspects of cancer control, particularly in issues of risk communication, decision-making, early detection, and screening. She will continue her research at NCI, where she will establish an intramural research program within another NCI division, the Division of Clinical Sciences.

The new Division of Cancer Prevention will include the Cancer Prevention Research Program, with its Diet and Cancer and Chemoprevention Branches, and the Early Detection and Community Oncology Program, with its Early Detection, Preventive Oncology, and Community Oncology Branches.

Klausner said the new prevention division will bring added visibility, prominence, and strength to national and international prevention research sponsored by NCI, and will help plan for the implementation of the far reaching recommendations of the Cancer Prevention Program Review Group, a committee of outside experts which completed its work in June. The group's recommendations will be a guide for strengthening cancer prevention research.

Wittes, as deputy director for Extramural Science, will head a newly created Office of the DDES whose functions will cut across or serve all of NCI's extramural programs. The Cancer Centers Branch, the Research Facilities Branch, the Cancer Training Branch, and the Organ Systems Coordinating Branch, now a part of DCTDC, will be moved to the Office of the DDES and the division will be renamed the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.

Klausner said that the Office of the DDES will work closely and collaboratively with each of the extramural division directors, and will participate in the annual budget allocation process with the division directors and himself .

The extramural divisions reporting to that office will be the new Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, the new Division of Cancer Prevention, the Division of Cancer Biology, and the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.

Note: NCI Organizational Charts including the changes above and CVs for Wittes and Rimer are available from the NCI Press Office (301) 496-6641.

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