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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Gopal Named NCI Center for Global Health Director

Dr. Satish Gopal

Dr. Satish Gopal

Photo: Marleen Van den Neste, EM Photography

Dr. Satish Gopal is the new director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) at the National Cancer Institute. A medical oncologist and physician-scientist, he is dedicated to helping people with cancer in low-resource settings, including sub-Saharan Africa, where he spent almost a decade caring for and learning from patients with lymphoid and HIV-associated malignancies.

He will now lead CGH and work across the NCI and NIH communities to support innovative research that addresses key scientific issues in global cancer control and leverages unique scientific opportunities afforded by global collaboration.  

Gopal joins NCI from the University of North Carolina, where since 2012 he led the Cancer Program for UNC Project-Malawi, a clinical research collaboration between UNC and the Malawi Ministry of Health. His international experience, which also includes a former Fogarty International Research Scientist Development Award and service as associate chair of the NCI-sponsored AIDS Malignancy Consortium, will enhance CGH’s role in advancing global cancer research.

Gopal also highly values CGH’s role in supporting cancer research training, promoting the integration of current scientific knowledge in global cancer control and engaging key partners in global cancer control.

Sharing his thoughts on the future of CGH, Gopal understands that “the global cancer burden is enormous; about two-thirds of cancer deaths occur each year in low- and middle-income countries, and that’s increasing.” He is hopeful that NCI can play a key role in addressing cancer as a truly global public health problem and believes that “studying cancer everywhere should benefit cancer patients everywhere.” 

The current times present unique and unprecedented opportunities and challenges, particularly amid major disruptions to cancer research and control from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In Gopal’s view, these events have reinforced the importance of global scientific collaboration, the need to learn from one another and to address new and unanswered questions as a global community.—Doug Perin  

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