Yesterday the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the names of a blue ribbon panel that advise the federal officials that comprise the Cancer Moonshot Task Force. The Panel will be part of the National Cancer Advisory Board, which is one of the entities that the Task Force is encouraged to consult in its work (per Section 2).
There are 28 members of the Panel, which is co-chaired by Dr. Tyler Jacks, Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee, and Dr. Dinah Singer. Jacks co-chairs the National Cancer Advisory Board and directs the Koch Integrative Cancer Research Center at MIT. Jaffee is a Professor at Johns Hopkins and is Deputy Director for Translational Research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Singer is Acting Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). While most of the members have academic appointments in relevant research disciplines, other members come from private companies, a cancer advocacy organization and non-profit research institutes.
Of potential insight to the Panel’s work is a recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine written by NIH Director Francis Collins and the Director of the NCI Douglas Lowy. In it they describe the Moonshot initiative, identify some promising areas for future advancements in attacking cancer (such as genomically-informed targets, tumor microenvironments, and immunotherapies) and various policy tools to address current constraints in making progress (a dedicated research fund for novel research proposals in oncology, data infrastructure support for cancer research).
The Panel will develop its recommendations for the Task Force over the summer and deliver them through the director of the National Cancer Institute. A report is expected to be developed and delivered to the President by December 31st. As the President leaves office not three weeks later, that deadline can’t slip.