MD Anderson’s Hahn Tapped for FDA Commissioner Post

Sharpless is heading back to NCI

Stephen Hahn, MD, the chief medical officer of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, was nominated today by President Trump to be the next FDA commissioner, according to multiple media reports.

The acting FDA commissioner, Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, is returning immediately to his previous job as NCI director. The Washington Post described that as a “surprise move.”

In September, four former FDA commissioners signed a letter supporting Sharpless for the commissioner’s job on a permanent basis. But, as the Post reported, the White House and Trump may have had reservations about him because he donated to former President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Sharpless has been acting commissioner since April when Scott Gottlieb, MD, a popular FDA commissioner, stepped down.

Hahn is a radiation and medical oncologist. He has been praised for helping turn around MD Anderson’s financial picture when he was hospital’s chief operating officer. Politico reported this afternoon that FEC records show that Hahn has donated money to Republican campaigns for many years.

“Hahn is described by friends and colleagues as an energetic consensus-builder with a disarming, folksy manner,” the Post reported. Before MD Anderson, Hahn was at the the University of Pennsylvania  and served as chair of radiation oncology from 2005 to 2014, according to the newspaper.