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Senate confirms MD Anderson oncologist to head FDA

Stephen Hahn, M.D., has served as cancer center’s deputy president and chief operating officer since 2017

December 17, 2019
 Hahn Commish
Dr. Hahn
Washington — The U.S. Senate confirmed Stephen Hahn, M.D., as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Dec. 12.

The new FDA commissioner has been the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s deputy president and chief operating officer since February 2017, according to his MD Anderson bio. In that role, he was responsible for day-to-day management of the institution, across all business, clinical and faculty matters.

Dr. Hahn joined MD Anderson in 2015 as division head, department chair and professor of radiation oncology. Prior to that, he served as chair of the radiation oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine from 2005 to 2014.

The Washington Post reported that Dr. Hahn told senators at his confirmation hearing in November that the rise of teen vaping was an “important, urgent crisis,” adding, “I do not want to see another generation of Americans become addicted to tobacco and nicotine and I believe that we need to take aggressive action to stop that.”

"Dr. Hahn can now get to work approving new life-saving drugs and devices, regulating tobacco and e-cigarettes, addressing the opioid crisis, ensuring pain patients can receive the medications they need and protecting our nation's food supply," Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander wrote in a Twitter post following the confirmation.