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NIH cancer chief to serve as acting FDA commissioner

3 years 5 months 2 days ago Tuesday, March 12 2019 Mar 12, 2019 March 12, 2019 12:11 PM March 12, 2019 in News - AP National

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the National Cancer Institute will temporarily take charge of the Food and Drug Administration next month after the departure of its current chief.

The appointment Tuesday of Dr. Ned Sharpless comes a week after Scott Gottlieb unexpectedly announced his resignation.

Sharpless currently heads the National Institutes of Health's cancer division.

Last week Gottlieb announced he would step in down in April after less than two years leading the FDA, a massive public health agency that regulates food, medical and tobacco industries.

Gottlieb says he wants to spend more time with his family after commuting weekly to Washington from his home in Connecticut.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the search for a permanent FDA commissioner is underway.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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