WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, has been appointed principal deputy commissioner and first chief scientist to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, by its commissioner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.
The new chief scientist position was created from the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007.
Torti will support the start of the FDA Fellowship Program and help emphasize the importance of clinical research trials. He will also work with the new office to ensure the quality and regulatory focus of the intramural research programs of the agency.
“I appreciate the confidence and trust that Secretary Leavitt and Commissioner von Eschenbach have placed in me,” said Torti. “I look forward to beginning this work at this important moment for the FDA.”
Torti, who joined the faculty at Wake Forest Baptist in 1993, serves as the Charles L. Spurr Professor of Medicine, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. He is a well-known clinical investigator in urologic oncology and has become widely published in this area. Many of the clinical trials that he has designed and executed have led to improved standards of care in genitourinary oncology. He has also contributed to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Torti received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and graduated cum laude with a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his master’s in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he trained in cancer epidemiology and nutrition.
“Dr. Torti’s impressive clinical and scientific credentials are an excellent match for the work we do on a daily basis to promote and protect the nation’s health as a science-based and science-led agency,” said von Eschenbach in a statement released by the FDA. “FDA’s chief scientist will ensure that the foundation of the FDA’s regulatory structure will always be state-of-the-art science.”
Torti is the recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT award and has been consistently named as one of America’s top doctors. He currently serves on the NIH’s National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He also serves as president and founder of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium.
A. Julian Garvin, M.D., Ph.D., has been named interim director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and Steven A. Akman, M.D., has been named interim chair of cancer biology.
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