Ned Sharpless, MD, Back at Helm at National Cancer Institute

November 12, 2019

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, returned to his post of Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) earlier this month. Dr. Sharpless had been serving as Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since Dr. Scott Gottlieb stepped down in April 2019.

Earlier this month, President Trump announced his nomination of Dr. Stephen Hahn to serve as the new Commissioner of the FDA. Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, will serve as Acting Commissioner of the FDA until a permanent commissioner is confirmed by the Senate.

In a blog post on the NCI’s website, Dr. Sharpless wrote, “…When I accepted the position of NCI director a little more than 2 years ago, I called it the best job in cancer research, and I still believe that. Striving to make progress against cancer so that we can improve people’s lives is where my heart lies.”

Dr. Sharpless was officially sworn in as the 15th director of the NCI on October 17, 2017, and since then, has focused on modernizing clinical trials to reflect an improved understanding of biology and the new types of therapies available to treat cancer. In a recent ASCO in Action podcast, Dr. Sharpless also spoke about his work to improve data sharing so that researchers can harness big data to speed up work across the cancer research enterprise.

ASCO looks forward to continuing its productive relationship with Dr. Sharpless, and will continue to advocate for federal investment in the NCI to ensure it can continue its critical work to improve understanding of cancer prevention through to treatment.

Stay connected to ASCO in Action for updates on cancer research and policy news.