National Cancer Institute Director Norman “Ned” Sharpless will serve as acting commissioner of the FDA following Scott Gottlieb’s departure next month.
An oncologist who holds numerous medical patents, Sharpless brings a broad background that includes cofounding two clinical stage biotech firms, G1 Therapeutics and HealthSpan Diagnostics. Prior to his appointment as NCI director in October 2017, he served as director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and as the UNC School of Medicine’s Wellcome Professor of Cancer Research.
Sharpless is also chief of the National Institute on Aging’s Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics’ Aging Biology and Cancer Section.
During his tenure at the NCI, Sharpless has advocated for increased modernization of clinical trials as well as increased funding for academic investigators. He also oversaw several collaborative ventures with the FDA including research and development for childhood cancer drugs.