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March 18, 2016

Biden Taps Ex-Nonprofit Head to Lead Federal Cancer Effort

The former leader of a charity that worked to speed the transition of basic research into lifesaving medical treatments has been appointed by Vice President Joe Biden to lead the Obama administration's "moonshot" effort to find a cure for cancer, The New York Times reports.

Greg Simon led FasterCures from its inception in 2003 until 2009. Since then he has served as senior vice president for patient engagement at pharmaceuticals firm Pfizer and CEO of Poliwogg, a financial-services company that invests in life sciences. He was diagnosed in 2014 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a blood and bone-marrow disease, and completed his first round of chemotherapy six months ago. In the 1990s he served as an aide to Vice President Al Gore.

“With his amazing breadth of experience, both in the public and private sector, [Mr. Simon] will bring an invaluable knowledge of the health care landscape to the [cancer-fighting] task force,” Mr. Biden said.

Read Chronicle of Philanthropy articles on FasterCures and its advocacy work.