Monica Bertagnolli, MD – New NCI Director

This week, Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, took office as the 16th director and first female director of the National Cancer Institute. She succeeds Norman E. Sharpless, MD, who stepped down as director in April 2022.


Dr. Bertagnolli joins NCI from Harvard Medical School, where she served as the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the field of surgical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She was also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a member of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment and Sarcoma Centers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.


Her experience as a physician-scientist inspired Dr. Bertagnolli to become an advocate for increasing the diversity of patients in clinical trials. She has championed and advanced patient-focused programs in rural and remote communities.

Last Reviewed: November 2022