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FDA's New Food, Drug Commissioner Focuses on 'Science Base'

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Dr. Robert M. Califf, MD, has been named as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) commissioner of food and drugs.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," Califf said in a recent official statement. "A successful FDA is a critical factor for better public health in this changing world. I look forward to further building the FDA’s excellent workforce, while relentlessly focusing on the completion of priority projects and continuing to develop the science base that we need to give consumers and patients even more confidence that their food is safe and their medical products are safe and effective."

Former FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products, Tobacco 

Previously, Califf served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for medical products and tobacco from February 2015 until his appointment as commissioner in February 2016. In that capacity, he provided executive leadership to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and the Center for Tobacco Products. He also oversaw the Office of Special Medical Programs and provided direction for cross-cutting clinical, scientific, and regulatory initiatives, including precision medicine, combination products, orphan drugs, pediatric therapeutics, and the advisory committee system.

Prior to joining the FDA, Califf was a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at Duke University. 

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