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In January 2021, when President Biden tapped Eric Lander to serve as the White House science adviser — and elevated the job to a cabinet-level position for the first time in history — he charged the renowned genomics researcher with “reinvigorating” American science. That included relaunching the “Cancer Moonshot” and creating a new federal agency aimed at accelerating biomedical breakthroughs.

But any momentum Lander generated stalled just over a year later, when he resigned from that position and his role leading the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy over accusations of workplace bullying.


Many wondered if he would return to the Broad Institute, which he had helmed since its founding in 2003. Or to Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Lander holds faculty positions. (Currently, he is on an unpaid academic leave-of-absence from these appointments.) That could still happen. But STAT has learned that Lander’s next act places a big bet that he can still reinvigorate the U.S. science enterprise, this time from outside the halls of government.

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