Washington, D.C.--The word in Washington is that oncologist Stephen Hahn, M.D., who currently serves as the chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, is President Trump's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).STAT News reported that a person familiar with the White House's thinking confirmed that Dr. Hahn was a front-runner, and that the administration was in the process of completing paperwork and background checks.

Dr. Hahn would replace Dr. Ned Sharpless, who has served asFDA's acting commissionersince March, following thedeparture of Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

Fortunereported that prominent public health officials, including Dr. Gottlieb, had called for Sharpless to be appointed to the position on a long-term basis. STAT News reported: "The Trump administration’s decision goes against the advice of four former FDA commissioners and an array of advocacy organizations, all of which had called for Sharpless to be named the permanent agency head."

Related: Acting FDA Commissioner Named; Industry Feeling Positive Scott Gottlieb Resigns from FDA