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NIH Director to join Facts & Faith Fridays in February

As the director of the National Institutes of Health, Monica M. Bertagnolli’s priorities include restoring community trust and making health sciences more accessible.

Woman smiling for professional headshot with American flag behind her. Monica Bertagnolli, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health. (National Institutes of Health)

Program change on February 5, 2024: Monica M. Bertagnolli’s appearance on the February 16 Facts & Faith Fridays virtual session will be rescheduled, date to be announced.

By Annie Harris

The Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to join VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Facts & Faith Fridays for a virtual discussion. Monica M. Bertagnolli, M.D., will share details about her new role and the 2024 priorities for the NIH.

As NIH director, Bertagnolli oversees the work of the largest funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world. She is the first surgeon and second woman to hold the position. Before taking the helm at NIH, Bertagnolli served as the director of the National Cancer Institute.

Some of Bertagnolli’s priorities for the NIH include increasing the diversity of clinical trial participants, embracing the expansion of new learning-based analytic tools, restoring trust in science by making it accessible to all communities and strengthening collaboration across the 27 NIH institutes and centers.

The Facts & Faith Fridays discussion will also feature insights from the inaugural Catchment Area Data Conference hosted by Massey in late 2023 shared by Katherine Tossas, Ph.D., M.S., Massey's director of Catchment Area Data Analysis.

Facts & Faith Fridays is a partnership between VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center and the African American faith-based community. Led by community leaders and event co-founders Rudene Mercer Haynes, Rev. F. Todd Gray, and Massey director Robert A. Winn, M.D., the program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facts & Faith Fridays recognizes that faith leaders are trusted sources of accurate information and act as ambassadors for their communities.

Learn more about Facts & Faith Fridays