LACUNY Institute 2005
Scholarly Publishing and Open Access: Payers and Players
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Harold Varmus

Harold Varmus, co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, and former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Much of his scientific work was conducted over 23 years on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, where he and Dr. J. Michael Bishop and coworkers demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. For this research Bishop and Varmus won many awards, among them the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers and four books, including an introduction to the genetic basis of cancer for a general audience. Dr. Varmus served on the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. As an active advocate for a new business model for scientific publishing that treats the costs of publication as the final integral step of a research project’s funding, he was a force in the creation of the NIH database, PubMed Central, a public online archive of hundreds of life sciences journals that are freely accessible, and he envisions a world where there is an open-access home for every published article in the life sciences.
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