On March 2, 2021, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) issued the following statement:
As one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the NIH [National Institutes of Health], the National Cancer Institute stands with [NIH Director] Dr. Francis Collins and the entire NIH in supporting UNITE.
“I am deeply committed to working with Dr. Collins and leaders across NIH to end structural racism in biomedical research through the UNITE initiative,” said [NCI Director] Dr. Sharpless. “We at NCI believe this initiative is not only about what is right, but also about what is best for the millions of Americans who are counting on cancer research to provide better treatments for cancer along with prevention strategies that can spare millions from ever having to face a cancer diagnosis.”
NCI recently initiated a new equity and inclusion program to enhance the research we conduct and support in cancer health disparities, ensure diversity of thought and background in the cancer research workforce, and promote an inclusive and equitable community within NCI.
“In cancer, the challenges are too great and the progress too promising not to embrace and lift up the voices of the best minds and the most innovative ideas as we continue our work against this disease. We must confront the fact that our efforts in the past have fallen short of this ideal. We must and will do better,” said Dr. Sharpless.