Biden nominates Arati Prabhakar as his top science adviser

FILE PHOTO: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Director Prabhakar takes part in an onstage interview at the Washington Ideas Forum in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Arati Prabhakar as the new White House science adviser, who would be the first woman of color and first immigrant to hold such a role if confirmed by the Senate.

Prabhakar would head The Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. Her predecessor Eric Lander resigned from the post in February after violating the Biden administration's workplace policy.

Her portfolio will include issues ranging from climate change to the physical sciences. Prabhakar also will play an essential role in Cancer Moonshot 2.0 - an initiative personally important to Biden that aims to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.

Prabhakar has previously led the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - a Pentagon entity that develops cutting-edge national security technologies - under former president Barack Obama, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology under former president Bill Clinton.

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(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)