Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg discusses the importance of the FDA protecting public health in an increasingly globalized world. FDA chief Hamburg has been tasked with an extremely difficult job: ensuring the safety of everything we consume, in an increasingly globalized world with increasingly obscured accountability trails. With a background in medicine, science and public health, she is well-positioned to meet the myriad of challenges facing the FDA. As New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene commissioner, Hamburg improved services for women and children, instituted needle-exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV (the AIDS virus), and created the first public health bio-terrorism defense program in the nation. Her most celebrated achievement, however, was curbing the spread of tuberculosis. Learn what she has planned to help keep the nation and its food and medicine supply safe. As New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene commissioner, Hamburg improved services for women and children, instituted needle-exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV (the AIDS virus), and created the first public health bio-terrorism defense program in the nation."
J. Michael Bishop
J. Michael Bishop is University Professor and Chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Bishop and his colleague Dr. Harold Varmus were jointly awarded the Nobel for their discovery of proto-oncogenes' normal genes that can be converted to cancer genes by genetic damage. This work led to the recognition that all cancer probably arises from damage to normal genes, and provided new strategies for the detection and treatment of cancer.
Dr. Bishop has served as a scientific advisor or member of numerous oversight boards, including the Board of Trustees of The Salk Institute, the National Cancer Advisory Board, and the Medical Advisory Board for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is the author of more than 300 research publications and reviews, and of the book How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science.
Margaret A. Hamburg
Margaret A. Hamburg became the 21st Commissioner of Food and Drugs in May 2009. The second woman to be nominated for this position, she is an experienced medical doctor, scientist, and public health executive. As the top official of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg is currently overseeing the implementation of laws to curb the use of tobacco and enhance food safety, and has undertaken major efforts streamline and modernize FDA’s regulatory pathways.
Before joining FDA, Dr. Hamburg worked at the Nuclear Threat Initiative from 2001 to 2009, first as the vice president for biological programs and later as the foundation’s senior scientist. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary for policy and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in the 1990s she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Hamburg earned her undergraduate and medical school degrees from Harvard University.
Agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1927, it inspects, tests, approves, and sets safety standards for foods and food additives, drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and household and medical devices. It can prevent untested products from being sold and take legal action to halt the sale of undoubtedly harmful products or of products that involve a health or safety risk. Its authority is limited to interstate commerce; it cannot control prices nor directly regulate advertising except of prescription drugs and medical devices.