Dr. Hahn has been chief medical executive at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston since May 2018 and Gilbert H. Fletcher Memorial Distinguished Chair and professor of Radiation Oncology at MDACC since January 2015.
As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Hahn specializes in treating lung cancer and sarcoma. He has authored 220 peer-reviewed original research articles. From 1996-2014, Dr. Hahn was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was Henry K. Pancoast Professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology from 2005-2014. Dr. Hahn was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1989-1996.
Dr. Hahn received his medical degree from Temple University, Philadelphia, in 1984 and his bachelor of arts degree in biology from Rice University in Houston in 1980. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at NCI, his fellowship in medical oncology at NCI, and his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Hospitals. He is board-certified in both medical oncology and radiation oncology.
News reports have said Trump interviewed Hahn for the job in early September but did not formally announce his intent until completion of a background check.
When reports first surfaced about Hahn being considered for FDA chief, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from Paul Harari, M.D., FASTRO, chair of ASTRO's Board of Directors:
"Steve Hahn is a remarkably talented physician and cancer specialist. He is trained in radiation oncology and medical oncology, and he has broad experience as a clinician, researcher, educator, and administrative leader. He is exceptionally versatile in his understanding of medicine and public health and would bring enormous energy and creativity if nominated to the role of FDA Commissioner."
"ASTRO believes that Dr. Hahn would be an excellent and inspired choice for Commissioner. In addition to his executive roles at leading cancer centers across the country, Dr. Hahn previously served on the ASTRO Board of Directors, spearheading educational initiatives such as the creation of a leadership development program focused on diversity and steering the selection of top science for ASTRO's Annual Meeting."
"A culture of safety is woven into the fabric of radiation oncology, making Dr. Hahn expertly suited to further FDA's mission of protecting the public health. At the same time, Dr. Hahn's experience using some of the most sophisticated medical devices in healthcare gives him insight and expertise to drive progress for the benefit of patients and consumers. The FDA has enjoyed strong leadership in recent years, and ASTRO would strongly support the nomination of Dr. Hahn to further the FDA's critical mission of safety and innovation."
If approved by the U.S. Senate, Hahn would replace Scott Gottlieb, M.D., who stepped down from his role in April. The agency is currently being run by Acting FDA Commissioner Norman Sharpless, M.D.
MDACC is a research-driven patient care organization that has approximately 21,000 employees with an annual revenue of $5 billion and the largest number of clinical trials in the United States.