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Harold Varmus

“One of the things I’m emphasizing at the moment is a communal effort to define big, ‘provocative’ questions about cancer that have gone unanswered for too long. For example, why does obesity place people at risk for cancer? This is a really important questions, especially since obesity rates in this country are increasing.”

The director of the National Cancer Institute, Harold Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with J. Michael Bishop for identifying the cellular origin of cancer-causing retroviral genes. He has also increased the public’s access to scientific studies and helped to bring more medical science to developing countries.