NCI director Norman Sharpless named new FDA acting commissioner

Norman E. Sharpless, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since October 2017, has been announced as the new acting commissioner of the FDA. Sharpless replaces Scott Gottlieb, MD, who unexpectedly resigned from the position on March 5.

“Rest assured that our shared goals for patients and the public’s health will translate into my new duties,” Sharpless wrote on Twitter after the announcement was made public.  

Sharpless also serves as chief of the aging biology and cancer section within the National Institute of Aging’s Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics. He is a member of both the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. In addition, he has been an associate editor of Aging Cell and deputy editor of Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Gottlieb showed his support of the move on Twitter calling Sharpless “a great public health champion” and a “dedicated physician.”

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, deputy director of the NCI, will now serve as the new acting director of the NCI.

This is not a permanent position; President Trump will still need to nominate the next FDA commissioner, who would then be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.