FDA appoints Torti principal deputy commissioner


WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has appointed Frank M. Torti as principal deputy commissioner and the first chief scientist. The position of chief scientist was created as part of the FDA Amendments Act of 2007.

As chief scientist and a member of the agency’s senior leadership team, Torti will support the launch of the FDA Fellowship Program, which has the potential to attract up to 2,000 professionals of varying disciplines for a two-year training program to help bridge the processes from scientific discovery through clinical development and regulatory review. As well, the new office will work to ensure the quality and regulatory focus of the intramural research programs of the agency, and place special emphasis on the importance of clinical research trials.

Torti currently is serving as the Charles L. Spurr Professor of Medicine, chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology, and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"Dr. Torti’s impressive clinical and scientific credentials are an excellent match for the work we do on a daily basis to promote and protect the nation's health as a science-based and science-led agency," said FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. "FDA’s Chief Scientist will ensure that the foundation of the FDA’s regulatory structure will always be state-of-the-art science.”

Torti will join the agency in May.

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