News Release

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Douglas Lowy named Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute

Douglas Lowy, M.D., today was officially named the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Acting Director. NCI is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. Lowy has served as NCI’s deputy director since July 2010, helping lead NCI’s key scientific initiatives since that time.

Dr. Lowy, a cancer researcher for more than 40 years, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2014 for his research that led to the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. As chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology in the Center for Cancer Research at NCI, Lowy’s research includes the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic growth. His laboratory, in close collaboration with John T. Schiller, Ph.D., was involved in the initial development, characterization, and clinical testing of the preventive virus-like particle-based HPV vaccines that are now used in the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved HPV vaccines.

“We are fortunate to have a scientist of such stature stepping into the role of Acting Director of the NCI,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Dr. Lowy possesses not only a sharp intellect, deep knowledge of science, and proven leadership experience, but he takes a warm and humane approach to all things. He is superbly positioned to lead the NCI at a time of exceptional progress in cancer research.”

Dr. Lowy is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), as well as the Institute of Medicine of the NAS. For their pioneering work, Lowy and Schiller have received numerous honors in addition to the National Medal, including the 2011 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award and the Federal Employee of the Year Award in 2007 from the Partnership for Public Service.

Lowy received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, New York City, and trained in internal medicine at Stanford University, California, and dermatology at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

The National Cancer Institute leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH’s efforts to dramatically reduce the prevalence of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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