This week, I wanted to feature a physician executive who is a graduate of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Why SJU? Because I'm currently enrolled in an MBA program at SJU.
This week's featured physician executive is Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.
Andrew C. von Eschenbach (born October 30, 1941 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was the Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration from 2006–2009. He became acting Commissioner on September 26, 2005, after the resignation of his predecessor Lester Crawford, and was confirmed as Commissioner by the Senate on December 7, 2006. He was previously the 12th director of the National Cancer Institute.
After graduating from St. Joseph's Preparatory School, von Eschenbach received his bachelor of science in biology from St. Joseph's University in 1963 and his MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1967. He did residencies at Pennsylvania Hospital in general surgery and urology and taught urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He served in the US Navy Medical Corps with the rank of lieutenant commander from 1968 to 1971.
In 1976, von Eschenbach began his long association with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, beginning as a urologic oncology fellow and becoming chair of the department of urology in 1983. He was founding director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program in 1996, director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center, and held the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Clinical Research Distinguished Chair in Urologic Oncology.
Von Eschenbach was president-elect of the American Cancer Society when he was selected by President George W. Bush to head the NCI in December 2001.
In 2006, Time named him as one of the Time 100 "People Who Shape Our World", writing that as head of the FDA, which "wields enormous influence on American lives", von Eschenbach "could make a signal contribution to the public's health" by focusing on issues of diet and obesity in addition to drugs and disease.
Read about our other featured physician executives.