Califf leaves Duke for prominent FDA post

The FDA named cardiologist Robert Califf, MD, deputy commissioner of medical products and tobacco. He will assume the post in late February.

Califf will leave his positon as vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University in Durham, N.C. His other roles at Duke have included director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and a professor at the Duke University Medical Center. A prolific researcher, he has authored more than 1,200 peer-reviewed publications

He is no stranger to the FDA, having served as a member of the Cardiorenal Advisory Panel and Science Board’s Subcommittee on Science and Technology. He also is editor-in-chief of the American Heart Journal; a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Policy Committee; liaison to the Forum in Drug Discovery, Development and Translation; and founding director of the coordinating center for a public-private partnership called the Centers for Education & Research on Therapeutics.

As deputy commissioner, he will lead the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health and the Center for Tobacco Products as well as oversee the Office of Special Medical Programs in the Office of the Commissioner.

“Dr. Califf’s deep knowledge and experience in the areas of medicine and clinical research will enable the agency to capitalize on, and improve upon, the significant advances we’ve made in medical product development and regulation over the last few years,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, said in a release.

He received his MD in 1978 from Duke University School of Medicine. After an internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco, he rejoined Duke for a fellowship in cardiology. He has worked at Duke for more than 30 years.