U.S. Representative Bill Nelson (now NASA administrator), STS-61C payload specialist, prepares to photograph individual samples in the Handheld Protein Crystal Growth Experiment (HPCG) on space shuttle Columbia's middeck. The operations involve the use of four pieces of equipment to attempt the growth of 60 different types of crystals -- 12 by means of dialysis and 48 via the vapor diffusion method. The photo was used by members of the STS-61C crew at their Jan. 23, 1986, Post-Flight Press Conference. Photo courtesy of NASA
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NASA administrator Joins President Biden’s Cancer Cabinet

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he has appointed NASA Administrator Bill Nelson as one of four new members of the Cancer Cabinet, part of the President’s Cancer Moonshot.

“Far too many Americans have been touched by cancer. Ending cancer as we know it has the power to save lives, unite our country, and inspire the world. It is a mission that represents NASA’s ambition to propel humanity forward – for science, for healing, for hope,” said Nelson. “NASA uses the unique microgravity environment on the International Space Station to conduct cutting-edge research with our partners, such as the Mayo Clinic, with the goal of treating serious medical conditions, including blood cancers like leukemia, lymphomas, and multiple myeloma. NASA is no stranger to moon shots, and we’re all in on ending cancer as we know it.”

Five months ago, the President re-ignited the Cancer Moonshot to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of patients and families living with and surviving cancer. As a part of the Cancer Moonshot, the Cancer Cabinet provides leadership counsel and advice across the federal government on cancer-related programs and priorities.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Alondra Nelson, deputy assistant to the president and performing the duties of director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, have announced the following five Cancer Cabinet Priorities, to:

  • Close the screening gap
  • Understand and address environmental and toxic exposures
  • Decrease the impact of preventable cancers
  • Drive innovation from discovery to patients, and
  • Improve the experience for patients and caregivers

The Cancer Cabinet’s five focus areas of work seek to drive progress through independent agency initiatives and cross-agency collaborations.  

The Cancer Cabinet is now expanded to include NASA, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Labor, and the White House Gender Policy Council, adding to the more than 20 departments, agencies, and White House components that make up the cabinet.

Lois Lane

Lois Lane is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Daily Planet. The daughter of General Sam Lane, she grew up learning hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques. After being hired by Perry White at the Daily Planet, Lois coined the name "Superman" and, because of incisive reporting on the Super Hero's incredible adventures, her career is forever linked to the Man of Steel. She remains one of Superman's strongest allies.

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