Janet Woodcock, MD, current Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been named acting FDA Commissioner, according to a report published in The New York Times. Stephen M. Hahn, MD, who had been FDA Commissioner since December 17, 2019, resigned on Wednesday, January 20.
In a statement on her Twitter account, Dr. Woodcock wrote, “It is an honor and privilege to serve as acting FDA Commissioner. The FDA’s public health work is more critical than ever as we continue to fight this global pandemic.”
She also shared a note to FDA staff on Twitter, saying, “I commit to you to do everything I can to keep FDA employees safe and productive, and to support the regulatory programs we are entrusted with. I also plan to support and promote our commitment to diversity and inclusion, that is such a strength within the agency.”
Dr. Woodcock joined the FDA in 1986.
According to The New York Times report, “The Biden administration has not yet nominated a permanent commissioner, but Dr. Woodcock is one of the candidates under consideration, according to several advisers to the new President’s transition team.”
In a statement, Friends of Cancer Research’s Chair and Founder Ellen Sigal, PhD, noted, “Dr. Woodcock has been a pivotal figure at the FDA for decades and there is no one better qualified than her to direct the Agency at this crucial time. We have no doubt that Dr. Woodcock will not only continue to steer the Agency in the right direction, but that she will actively work to advance innovative science and ensure FDA maintains its gold standard of reviewing and approving new therapies, vaccines, and treatments for patients.”