(CNN)President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Dr. Stephen Hahn to be the next head of the US Food and Drug Administration.
President Trump to nominate Dr. Stephen Hahn as new FDA commissioner
The acting commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Ned Sharpless, will return to his role as the director of the National Cancer Institute, according to a press release from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
By law, Sharpless was only allowed to serve a total of 210 days under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. His tenure ended Friday at 5 p.m. ET.
Hahn is a well-known radiation oncology expert and is the current chief medical executive of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where has been a professor of radiation oncology since January 2015.
Asked to describe himself when he was appointed to the leadership position at MD Anderson, Hahn used one word: "Energetic."
The 59-year-old will need that energy to run an agency that employs more than 17,000 people and has a $5.7 billion budget.
The agency protects public health by regulating much more than the food and drugs mentioned in the department's name. The FDA regulates medical devices, tobacco, alcohol, veterinary products, vaccines, blood, microwave ovens, nail polish and much more.
Helping run the daily operations of MD Anderson, Hahn currently manages a $5.2 billion operating budget, 20,300 employees, 7,000 trainees and more than 3,000 volunteers, according to the hospital.
MD Anderson is one of the world's largest cancer centers. It is ranked No. 1 in the United States for cancer care, according to the U.S. News & World Report "Best Hospitals" survey.
It cares for more than 141,000 patients in 2018. It is known as a leading cancer research center, earning the most number of grants from the National Cancer Institute, according to the center. Its staff even includes a 2018 Nobel Prize winner.
At MD Anderson, Hahn had a good reputation for turning its budget around. The center faced serious financial losses in 2016, according to the Houston Chronicle. The paper said when Hahn noticed the problem, he "laid out a slide presentation to top officials that showed the elite Houston hospital was on track to lose up to $450 million in the new fiscal year without swift and decisive action."
"We were in a financial crisis, if you will, and that we had to move in a certain direction," Hahn told the Cancer Letter in 2017 in an extensive interview about that time in his work. He oversaw the largest layoffs in the cancer center history, but the center moved back into solid financial territory.
Money challenges weren't the only test of Hahn's leadership. This year, when MD Anderson received notification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services th