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AACR Applauds Appointment of Janet Woodcock, MD, as Acting Commissioner of the FDA

Woodcock’s extraordinary expertise will ensure excellent stewardship in her role as Acting FDA Commissioner

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which consists of more than 47,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; other health care professionals; population scientists; and patient advocates, strongly supports President Biden’s decision to appoint Janet Woodcock, MD, as acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We look forward to working with Dr. Woodcock and her dedicated colleagues at the FDA to ensure the approval of safe and effective treatments for patients with cancer,” said AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, and director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Tumor Immunology Program. “Throughout her more than three decades of stellar service at the FDA, Dr. Woodcock has been a remarkable leader in working through the key issues facing the ever-expanding field of personalized medicine, including providing expert guidance to encourage its development and success.”

Woodcock joined the FDA in 1986 and has most recently served as Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. During her tenure in this position, the number of FDA-approved personalized medicines has grown substantially to 286 in 2020. In the past year, she was assigned to the drug portion of “Operation Warp Speed,” the prior administration’s multi-agency task force to speed the development of COVID-19-related drugs and other medical products. “The entire cancer research and patient care community owes Dr. Woodcock a tremendous amount of gratitude for her vision and steadfast dedication to improving the health of Americans and for her tireless work to expedite the delivery of therapies to patients,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Dr. Woodcock’s appointment provides a continuity in leadership at the FDA and recognizes the vital importance of scientific innovation that is especially needed during this challenging period of the pandemic. We look forward to working with her in her new role as acting commissioner, and with her as commissioner should President Biden decide to choose her for this position.”