U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, 67, will resign from his position on Jan. 20, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

In memos sent to the news outlets, von Eschenbach told agency staff that he plans to return home to Texas to spend time with his family.

"Until my final farewell on January 20, I will be working together with you to prepare the FDA for the change of political leadership at the agency," von Eschenbach said in the memo.

President George W. Bush appointed von Eschenbach in September 2005. The cancer surgeon, and cancer survivor, was confirmed by the Senate as permanent commissioner in December 2006. He was director of the National Cancer Institute before joining the FDA.

While president-elect Barack Obama has not announced von Eschenbach’s replacement, he is said to be considering candidates such as Baltimore’s health commissioner, former and current FDA officials, and several prominent physicians.