The Trump administration on Tuesday named Dr. Ned Sharpless as acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Sharpless, who is the current director of the National Cancer Institute, will take the place of outgoing commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who surprisingly announced his resignation earlier this month.
"We look forward to the agency continuing its important work. Dr. Sharpless' deep scientific background and expertise will make him a strong leader for FDA," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "There will be no let-up in the agency's focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes."
Sharpless has led NCI since October 2017. Previously, he served as the director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"It will be an honor to advance the FDA's critical public health mission and build on its progress toward the priorities laid out by President Trump, Secretary Azar and Commissioner Gottlieb alongside the leadership and staff of the agency," Sharpless said in a statement.
Azar told the House Energy & Commerce Committee's health subcommittee Tuesday that the agency is searching for a permanent successor to Gottlieb.