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New FDA Effort to Take Aim at Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The US Food and Drug Administration is creating a new position at the Office of FDA's Chief Scientist that will focus on the agency's genomics-related programs, FDA said this week.

Frank Torti, acting commissioner of food and drugs, mentioned the new position in a weekly address on the FDA's website. He said the new hire will be dedicated to "coordinating and upgrading our agency's activities in genomics and the related fields of science that are involved in the analysis of complex DNA, protein, and smaller expression platforms."

The first person to hold this post will be Liz Mansfield, who has been involved in policy and scientific positions at FDA and in the private sector. Mansfield will work on FDA's goal of providing agency scientists with tools and personnel capable of high-level analysis of complex genetic data.

In his address, Torti said that the "emphasis on a coordinated genomics effort" resulted from an FDA retreat last summer that focused on genomics, recommendations from the FDA Science Board, and "our own internal planning."

In order for personalized medicine to advance, Torti explained, "FDA must use the most advanced tools for evaluating the new and frequently highly complex products regulated by our agency. Further integration and coordination of the latest genomic technology into the FDA's processes and decision-making will better protect and promote the public health."

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