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Business & Regulation Standards & Regulation

The Return of Robert Califf

After nine months of speculation about who will be the next FDA commissioner, we may finally be close to a decision; media headlines are speculating that Robert Califf will be Joe Biden’s pick for the role – especially as the two of them reportedly met on October 22. 

Right now, Janet Woodcock is the interim FDA commissioner – in place since January 2021. Born in 1948, Woodcock joined the FDA in 1986 and has held a number of other senior roles over the years. An acting commissioner can only serve for a certain time and numerous sources claimed in August that Woodcock had been ruled out as a permanent head. 

Califf is currently head of clinical policy and strategy for Verily and Google Health. But he was deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco at the FDA from 2015 to 2016, and then served as commissioner under Barack Obama from 2016 to 2017.

Califf is considered as a somewhat controversial candidate by some because of his ties to the pharma industry; he has received research grants and consultancy fees from various pharma companies in the past.

As of yet, no official comment has been by the White House – or Califf…



Teaser image credit: FDA

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Stephanie Sutton

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent seven years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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