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WASHINGTON — President Biden’s presumed pick to lead the National Institutes of Health, Monica Bertagnolli, will face a slew of questions on the multibillion-dollar agency’s spending and oversight in her upcoming confirmation battle.

This week, though, she won’t face what otherwise would have been Congress’s first round. A source close to the top cancer official, who announced her own cancer diagnosis last December, said she had to drop out of a scheduled Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday because of previously scheduled routine cancer treatment, though she remains healthy.


The National Cancer Institute’s second-in-command, Douglas Lowy, will testify instead, alongside acting NIH director Lawrence Tabak and other senior NIH officials.

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