Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, was appointed Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in February 2020. In this role, he oversees the development of initiatives and collaborations with other NCI and NIH partners, NCI-designated cancer centers, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to support cancer research, promote cancer control, and build capacity in low- and middle-income countries. Before coming to NCI, Dr Gopal was the Cancer Program Director for the University of North Carolina collaboration with the Malawi Ministry of Health.
Dr Gopal completed his Master of Public Health degree in 2000 at UNC-Chapel Hill and earned his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine in 2001. He then completed training in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan, lived and worked in Tanzania from 2007 to 2009, then returned to the United States to pursue medical oncology and infectious disease training at the University of North Carolina. After this, he lived with his family in Malawi from 2012 to 2019, when he was the only certified medical oncologist in a country of ~18 million people and treated public sector cancer patients at the national teaching hospital in the capital alongside his Malawian colleagues. He also returned frequently to provide clinical service at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.
As an extramural physician-scientist, his NIH-funded research program focused on epidemiologic, clinical, and translational studies of lymphoma and HIV-associated malignancies in Africa and he oversaw a broad, multidisciplinary cancer research portfolio addressing many of the commonest cancers in the region, including cervical, breast, and esophageal cancer. He has authored more than 100 publications and mentored more than 30 early-career U.S. and African pre- and post-doctoral cancer researchers, many of whom hold academic positions in global oncology at NCI-designated cancer centers, African academic institutions, and other international organizations. He has spoken widely about global oncology and provided leadership and expertise on various working groups, review committees, and boards. He previously served as the Associate Chair for African International Sites for the NCI AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) with oversight responsibility for the network’s African clinical trials. He currently serves as the US representative on the Scientific Council for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).