President Barack Obama has chosen former NIH director Harold E. Varmus to head the National Cancer Institute. The decision confirms rumors that began several weeks ago after Varmus announced that he planned to step down as president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City. Varmus, 70, is best known for his work on retroviruses and cancer genes, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989. He was NIH director from 1993 to 1999 and currently serves as cochair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. In an e-mail to NCI staff, NIH Director Francis S. Collins noted that Varmus “brings unmatched expertise at all levels—not only in cutting-edge scientific research, but also as a leader in the development of strategies to improve patient care, in scientific education and training, and in the design of novel public-private partnerships.” Varmus is expected to start as director in July.