Robert M. Califf, M.D., will be appointed the new commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the Senate recently voted in favor of his appointment, 89-4.
Califf is recognized worldwide as a leader in cardiovascular medicine. He is the current deputy commissioner of medical products and tobacco for the FDA.
Before he began working with the FDA, Califf was the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Califf formerly served as a member of the American Heart Association, where he help design a community program in the state of North Carolina that aids residents in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels with steady observation and direction from health care professionals.
Califf was nominated in September of last year by the President Obama to serve as the FDA’s commissioner, but lawmakers questioned his work with pharmaceutical companies during his time at the clinical research center, a news report from the American Heart Association noted. This served to delay his appointment as commissioner of the FDA. Many senators also used the nomination process to bring attention to the FDA’s opioid regulations and its response to the opioid epidemic in the U.S., serving to further delay the voting process.
Eventually, Califf was elected by a wide margin.