Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been honored by President Barack Obama with a request that she continue, for a third term, to chair the President’s Cancer Panel. Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Rimer and other individuals to key administration posts on July 23.
Dr. Rimer has served as chair of the panel since 2011. The panel’s first report to the President in February 2014, compiled under Dr. Rimer’s leadership, noted that achieving widespread HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination is one of the most profound opportunities for cancer prevention.
The report, “Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer,” issued an urgent call to energize efforts to maximize the vaccine’s potential to save lives and prevent millions of avoidable cancers and HPV-related conditions in men and women. The report examined underuse of HPV vaccines, identified key barriers to increasing vaccine uptake and provided actionable recommendations for overcoming these obstacles.
One in four people in the U.S. are infected with at least one type of HPV, a group of viruses linked to multiple cancers and other diseases.
Prior to becoming the Gillings School dean in 2005, Dr. Rimer was deputy director for population sciences at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (2003-2005) and director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (1997-2002). In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board, where she served until 1997.
Dr. Rimer, who earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and Doctor of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies in 2008. IOM’s mission is to provide advice and guidance to the federal government on issues related to biomedical science, medicine and health and to advise the nation on ways to improve health. Its members are elected for their distinguished and continuing achievements in the Institute’s mission and their willingness to participate actively in its efforts.
Other presidential nominees announced on July 23 were:
“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles,” President Obama said, in announcing the nine nominees. “I look forward to working with them.”