Although Shannon appreciated Lasker's instrumental role in promoting the rapid growth of the National Institutes of Health
in the quarter-century after World War II, he criticized her for trying to meddle in the operation of NIH and to impose her
personal research priorities on the agency. For her part, Lasker suspected Shannon of a bias towards basic over clinical
research. Their relationship was distant, and Lasker visited Shannon in his office only once. Another NIH director and a
deputy director received Lasker awards; Shannon never did.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (106,097 Bytes)
1964-06-26 (June 26, 1964)
Shannon, James A.
National Institutes of Health. Office of the Director
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Research Support as Topic
Letter from Mary Lasker to James A. Shannon (July 17, 1964)
As a follow up on our luncheon meeting of June 21st regarding information supplied to the National Advisory Cancer Council
members on NCI programs supported by the contract mechanism, I am supplying copies of some of the materials sent to the members
by the NCI staff over the past several months. These materials include rather detailed information on each contract (the large
red book) and broad program information emphasizing the activities supported by the contract mechanism. In addition from time
to time various staff members have presented to the two Council Subcommittees reviews of the program areas involving contract
The red book was sent to Council members in early November and the books were available at the Council meeting held in November
of last year. Many of the Council members expressed their appreciation of the excellent summary made available to them at
The gray book was a broad summary of the overall program of the National Cancer Institute which gave emphasis to the intramural
and contract supported programs, and was supplemented by data on the distribution of grants by various categories. This was
made available to the Council members prior to the initial meeting of the presently constituted Subcommittees on Carcinogenesis
and Prevention and Diagnosis and Treatment. At the same time an NCI Fact Book was supplied and a revised edition has subsequently
been made available to the Council.
Subsequent to distribution of the red book, the blue book containing broad program information in the areas supported by contracts,
including excerpts from the minutes of the Scientific Directorate covering these program reviews, was also distributed. Additional
information on the program review of the clinical chemotherapy area, which has recently been completed by the Scientific Directorate,
will be sent to the Council members shortly.
For the Council meeting just completed a document discussing goals and objectives of cancer research and their means for implementation
was also distributed prior to the meeting.
I hope this letter and the attachments clarify some of the questions about material made available to the Council -- on those
programs supported through the contract mechanism.