Hahn, 59, is currently chief medical executive at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a position he has held since 2018. An oncologist who specializes in treating lung cancer and sarcoma, Hahn joined MD Anderson in 2015 as division head, department chair and professor of radiation oncology. Before that, he worked in his hometown of Philadelphia as chair of the radiation oncology department in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine from 2005 to 2014.
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Hahn responded to questions about the most pressing issues facing the FDA, including the rise in illnesses and deaths related to vaping products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as the opioid crisis.
“I’m a lung cancer doctor and I have seen the ravages of tobacco-related cancers,” Hahn said. “I also know youngsters who are very close to me who use e-cigarette products. … I think this is an important, urgent crisis in this country. I do not want to see another generation of Americans become addicted to tobacco and nicotine and I believe we need to take aggressive action to stop that.”
When asked what three steps he would take as FDA commissioner to monitor the use of opioids, Hahn said he would focus on the appropriate packaging and labeling of the drugs, accelerate the approval of non-opioid products and embrace a holistic approach to managing patient pain.
Hahn was no stranger to Houston when he arrived four years ago. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Rice University in 1980 before returning to Philadelphia to attend medical school at Temple University. His postgraduate training included a clinical residency and fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.
Hahn’s research targets the molecular causes of the tumor microenvironment, particularly the study of chemical signals that go awry (aberrant signal transduction pathways) and the evaluation of proton therapy as a way to improve the efficiency of radiation therapy.
As commissioner of the FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hahn will oversee the regulation of foods, drugs, biologics (vaccines, blood, blood products and more), medical devices, electronic products that give off radiation (such as X-ray equipment, microwave ovens and laser products), cosmetics, veterinary products and tobacco products.
Hahn will take over from Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., who was appointed acting FDA commissioner on Nov. 6. Giroir was preceded in the role by Norman “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., who served from April to early November, following the resignation of Scott Gottlieb, M.D., which was announced in March.
103-year-old WWII Veteran finally gets the recognition he deserves https://t.co/shJIdq9Ju9 via @CBSEveningNews
Watch to learn how we’re enhancing the ability of patients’ own T cells to fight cancer. #endcancer https://t.co/sFMz5eExco
Today’s rising #livercancer rates have been driven by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is linked to obesity.But our experts are working with @ScrippsHealth to study an #immunotherapy combination to treat liver cancer and save lives: https://t.co/uwAhLH51uk #endcancer
College of Charleston looks to send dozens of Valentine’s Day cards to Veterans https://t.co/fFqeaN3T7o via @ABCNews4
Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D., discusses taking risks in science and what the Translational Research Institute for Space Health is doing to help people in space with @InnoMapHou. https://t.co/wbML42L9Wb #space #spacemedicine
Never-smoker Chuck Martinez explains how @MDAProtons helped him overcome #lungcancer with minimal side effects: https://t.co/fpitho7qXV #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
ABC7 Salutes: Army Veteran, ex-addict helps other Veterans learn from his mistakes https://t.co/lnA5RQNa16 via @ABC7News
RT @bcm_ocd: Check out this chapter by our researchers in new book Exposure Therapy for Children with Anxiety and OCD. "Efficacy of exposur…
RT @BCMHoustonJobs: Can you recommend anyone for this job in #Houston, TX? https://t.co/mzmp0HSDDd #Healthcare
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UH_Pharmacy: Breaking: With 100% chance of rain for Wed, Jan. 22, the "Shine A Light on Mental Health" fair from noon to 2 pm has been…
For the second consecutive year, Transplant Services at @TexasChildrens was named the top pediatric transplant center in the US, performing a remarkable 106 solid organ transplants in 2019. Learn more: https://t.co/iR6xO02dTC https://t.co/aOPfISdYhs
University of Houston@UHouston
Which Shasta are YOU? Check out our new Instagram face effects, available now! https://t.co/POQlqNnN3W
Join us this Saturday, January 25 for All About HER! (Health, Emotions & Relationships) at @TexasChildrens The Woodlands! To register, visit: https://t.co/7dqWlmWZOg https://t.co/J84AYU8aZW
Feeling the love on #NationalHugDay 🤗 #AstrosCaravan @OrbitAstros @astros https://t.co/fqD7iWP7AH
Belly fat, more than excess weight, may be a factor in the risk for multiple heart attacks, according to a new study. Tackle that belly fat with a heart-healthy diet and exercise. https://t.co/8f3YKQOlPJ via @CNN https://t.co/bDi6EYVVHZ