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Harold Eliot Varmus

Harold Eliot Varmus, American federal agency administrator, cell biologist, educator, former hospital administrator.


  • Varmus, Harold Eliot was born on December 18, 1939 in Oceanside, New York. Son of Frank and Beatrice (Barasch) Varmus.

  • Education

    • Bachelor in English, Amherst College, Massachusetts, 1961; Master of Arts in English Literature, Harvard University, 1962; Doctor of Medicine, Columbia University College Physicians & Surgeons, New York City, 1966.


    • Intern, resident Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, 1966-1968. Clinical associate National Institute Arthritis & Metabolic Disease, Bethesda, Maryland, 1968-1970. Lecturer department microbiology University California, San Francisco, 1970-1972, assistant professor, 1972-1974, associate professor, 1974-1979, professor department microbiology & immunology, 1979—1993, professor department biochemistry & biophysics, 1982—1993, American Cancer Society professor molecular virology, 1984—1993.

      Director National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, 1993—1999. President, Chief Executive Officer Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, 2000—2010. Director National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, since 2010.

      Chairman board on biology National Research Council, 1991—1993. Member World Health Organization Commission Macroeconomics & Health, 2000—2002. Co-founder, chairman board Public Library.

      Of Science (PLoS), since 2003. Member, co-chair President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), since 2009. Surgeon United States Public Health Service, 1968-1970.


    • The Art and Politics of Science (Hardback) - Common
    • A year into his graduate studies in literature at Harvard University, Harold Varmus discovered he was drawn instead to medicine and eventually found himself at the forefront of cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco.
    • The Art and Politics of Science
    • A Nobel Prize–winning cancer biologist, leader of major scientific institutions, and scientific adviser to President Obama reflects on his remarkable career.


    Party affiliation: Democratic Party


    Chair science board Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2003—2008, board directors Campaign to Defend the Constitution, Scientists & Engineers for America, Member of National Academy of Sciences, American Society Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, American Academy Arts & Sciences, American Society Cell Biology, American Society Microbiology, American Society Virology, Institute Medicine.


    • Married Constance Louise Casey, October 25, 1969. Children: Jacob Carey, Christopher Isaac.
    • child: Jacob Carey Varmus
    • child: Christopher Isaac Varmus
    • mother: Beatrice (Barasch) Varmus
    • spouse: Constance Louise Casey
    • father: Frank
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    Born December 18, 1939
    • 1961
      Amherst College
    • 1962
      Harvard University
    • 1966
      Columbia University College Physicians & Surgeons
    • 2010
      president, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    • 2010
      Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    • 1966 - 1968
      Intern, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital
    • 1966 - 1968
      resident, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital
    • 1968 - 1970
      clinical associate, National Institute Arthritis & Metabolic Disease
      Bethesda, Maryland, United States
    • 1970 - 1972
      lecturer, department microbiology University California
      San Francisco, California, United States
    • 1993 - 1999
      director, National Institutes of Health
      Bethesda, Maryland, United States
    • 2010
      director, National Cancer Institute
      Bethesda, Maryland, United States
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