Dr Robert Califf Nominated for FDA Commissioner by President Obama

September 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama has nominated Dr Robert Califf as the new commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the White House announced today[1].

Califf has long been speculated to be in the running for the agency's top job. He was named deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco in February. In March 2015, Dr Margaret Hamburg stepped down after serving nearly 6 years as commissioner. Dr Stephen Ostroff is currently serving as acting commissioner of the FDA.

A cardiologist, Califf has had a long and distinguished career in academic medicine, most notably at Duke University, where he completed his undergraduate and medical degrees.

Dr Robert Califf

Prior to joining the FDA, Califf was vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. In addition, he was a professor at Duke University School of Medicine and the cofounder of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Before his nomination to the FDA post, Califf served on the advisory board of theheart.org||Medscape Cardiology. He had been a contributing editor to theheart.org since its founding in 1999 and was the host of the long-running series "Life and Times of Leading Cardiologists."

The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a statement from CEO Nancy Brown following Califf's nomination, saying his "distinguished career in medicine and clinical research makes him ideally suited to lead the FDA." Brown called Califf a "patient-centric" physician and an outstanding researcher, noting that as a member of the AHA he was committed to the fight against heart disease and stroke[2].

"In short, we could not be more pleased with the administration’s nomination of Dr Califf," writes Brown. "We look forward to working with an FDA led by him and we urge the Senate to confirm him as quickly as possible."

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