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AACR Congratulates Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, on His Appointment as Acting FDA Commissioner

Sharpless joins an agency that is extremely committed to providing safe and effective treatments for cancer patients

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world’s first and largest cancer research organization, congratulates Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, on his appointment as acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sharpless has served as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since October 2017. Prior to his NCI appointment, he was director of the NCI-designated Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. He has also previously served as a member of the AACR’s Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee. “Dr. Sharpless brings impressive qualifications to this extremely important position, as well as a proven track record of implementing innovative scientific methods and ideas to advance cancer research,” said AACR President Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, deputy director of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. “The AACR looks forward to working with Dr. Sharpless in his new position.”

Doug Lowy, MD, will succeed Sharpless as acting director of the NCI. Lowy previously served as acting director of the NCI from 2015-2017, during which time he provided critical leadership to advance the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative that former Vice President Joe Biden spearheaded during the final year of the Obama administration.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Sharpless will be joining the FDA as acting commissioner, and that he will have the benefit of working with such talented and innovative individuals at the agency, including Richard Pazdur, MD, and his team at the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “This impressive team works tirelessly to speed the availability of effective therapies for cancer patients.”