Dr Stephen M Hahn has been sworn in as the 24th Commissioner of Food and Drugs on 17 December 2019. Hahn is a physician, scientist and health care leader with an extensive background in patient care, academic research and executive leadership.
Hahn’s profile on the FDA website says that he is a dedicated clinician, having trained in both medical oncology and radiation oncology. In his previous leadership roles, he has always carefully balanced executive management with clinical time to continue to serve oncology patients, his true passion. He specialises in treating both lung cancer and sarcoma.
Throughout his oncology career, Hahn maintained a keen interest in research, authoring more than 220 peer-reviewed original research articles. His research focuses on the molecular causes of the tumour microenvironment, particularly the study of chemical signals that go awry (known as aberrant signal transduction pathways), and the evaluation of proton therapy as a means of improving the effectiveness of radiation therapy. His experience in medical product development and clinical trials spans drugs, biologics, medical devices, and diagnostics.
Prior to joining the FDA, Hahn served as the Chief Medical Executive (CME) at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a facility that cares for more than 140,000 patients a year. He has proven executive leadership that spans research, development, clinical trials, patient care, health system management and education.
In his role as CME, Hahn was responsible for day-to-day management of the institution, including business, clinical and faculty matters. Under his purview was one of the largest clinical trial groups in the country.
Hahn joined MD Anderson in 2015 as Division Head, Department Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology. Before joining MD Anderson, he served as chair of the Radiation Oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine from 2005 to 2014.
The new Commissioner earned the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps while at the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute, where he also completed a fellowship in medical oncology and a residency in radiation oncology. He also completed residency in internal medicine at University of California, San Francisco. He graduated from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Pennsylvania and received his bachelor’s in biology from Rice University in Texas.