We are writing to recommend Dr. Harold E. Varmus for your consideration as Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH).
In 1989 Harold Varmus received the Nobel Prize for Medicine, along with Dr. J. Michael Bishop for their work on retroviruses.
He is the American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco,
California. His dedication to public service is unparalleled and his pursuit for the inclusion of diverse populations in
public health issues is well known, beginning in 1973 with his work on the breast cancer virus working group at the National
Cancer Institute. The application of his work on retroviruses led to the identification of the HIV virus as the cause of
We believe that a prominent scientist capable of leading the biomedical research community should be director of the NIH.
Harold Varmus is unique in his qualifications for this position because he has led the research community not only in scientific
issues but in sensitivity to the people they serve.
The NIH is entering a new era of increasing demands for broader domestic health care, while developing our international competitiveness
to remain preeminent in biomedical research. We believe that Harold Varmus has an understanding of the cooperation needed
between government and industry to keep America number one in the field of biotechnology.
This recommendation of Dr. Varmus for NIH Director comes to you unsolicited. We have come to know Dr. Varmus through his
volunteered service to the Congress in organizing over the last two years a series of briefings for Members and health policy
staff on the latest developments in biomedical research. A list of the briefings is attached and, as you will note, Dr. Varmus
brought us the foremost current science by the best and brightest biomedical research scientists in every field by the force
of his own character. We truly appreciate his outstanding work for the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus.
The nation would be well served both in our own diverse public health concerns and in the arena of international competitiveness,
if Dr. Varmus were to direct the NIH. We hope that you will give every consideration to our recommendation of Dr. Varmus
for the position of Director. It is our understanding that he would be interested in serving in your Administration.