PRESIDENT BUSH APPOINTS BETHANY ALUMNUS TO HEAD NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President George W. Bush announced Tuesday, August 15, 2006, he intends to appoint Bethany College graduate, John Edward Niederhuber, M.D., to be the 13th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Niederhuber has been a professor, cancer center director, National Cancer Advisory Board chair, external advisor to the NCI, grant reviewer, and laboratory investigator supported by NCI and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, Dr. Niederhuber will remain involved in research. Under his leadership, the Laboratory of Tumor and Stem Cell Biology is studying adult tissue stem cells as the cell-of-origin for cancer.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, Dr. Niederhuber attended Steubenville Senior High School and enrolled at Bethany College. While at Bethany, he majored in Chemistry and joined the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. After graduating in 1960, Dr. Niederhuber entered the Ohio State University School of Medicine and earned an M.D. in 1964.
Following his time at Ohio State, Dr. Niederhuber entered the army and was stationed at the US Biological Laboratory in Fort Detrick. Upon leaving the army, he was offered a residency position at the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, Dr. Niederhuber's basic science research was predominantly in transplantation. One of his achievements was to transplant kidneys from one ewe to another. During this time, Dr. Niederhuber also published in the Journal of Immunology and Cellular Immunology, on transplant antigens.
After a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Niederhuber returned to Michigan in 1973 to complete his chief residency in surgery. With his achievements, he was appointed assistant professor of surgery and microbiology at Michigan and later became chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Transplantation. He was also named associate dean for research at the University from 1982 to 1985.
In 1986, he moved with his wife Tracey to Baltimore, Md. to take a position as visiting professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Hopkins. It was during this time that his son, Matt, was born. Dr. Niederhuber was then recruited to Stanford in 1991. At Stanford, he became chairman of the Department of Surgery and head of surgical sciences. In 1997, Dr. Niederhuber transferred to the University of Wisconsin as the assistant dean for oncology, professor of surgery, and director of the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Niederhuber joined the National Institutes of Health in September 2005 as the NCI's Deputy Director for Translational and Clinical Sciences. Dr. Niederhuber was designated to serve as Acting Director of NCI, on May 31, 2006, a designation that became effective June 11.
In a column written for the NCI Cancer Bulletin Dr. Niederhuber explained, "Since my earliest days as a surgeon and cancer researcher, my inspiration has been the many patients I have known and treated. I am always mindful that NCI's investment in research is, in no small part, a tribute to their perseverance, strength, and dignity in the face of such a devastating disease."
During his career, Dr. Niederhuber has received various awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Bethany College, the Distinguished Faculty Service Award from the University of Michigan and the Alumni Achievement Award from Ohio State. He was also awarded the prestigious John Collins Memorial Award for Outstanding Teaching at Stanford University in 1996.
He has been chairman of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, a member of the nominating committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, president of the Society of Surgical Oncology and president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes.
He has also published over 115 unique scientific articles, including publications in Science, Annals of Surgery, The Journal of Immunology, and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He is also the coeditor of Clinical Oncology, one of the major references in the oncology field.