FDA taps Duke expert in cardiology, research for deputy commissioner position

Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration has named a prominent Duke University cardiologist to its No. 2 leadership position, tasked with overseeing drugs, medical devices and tobacco products.

Dr. Robert Califf currently serves as a vice chancellor at Duke where his work has focused on best practices for clinical trials, particularly those studying heart drugs. In 2006, Califf helped oversee a partnership between Duke and the FDA to develop new tools for spotting dangerous cardiovascular side effects of drugs and devices.

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He has also served as an outside adviser to the FDA. In 2007, he was part of a committee that concluded the agency was at risk of failing in its public health mission due to inadequate staffing and funding.

Califf will begin work as deputy commissioner in late February.