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Pairings: May 20, 2009

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The US Senate this week confirmed Margaret Hamburg, a biothreat expert with experience running a large organization in New York, and with studying pathogens at the National Institutes of Health, to take over as commissioner at the Food and Drug Administration.

Department of Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius in a statement called Hamburg "an inspiring public health leader with broad experience in infectious disease, bioterrorism, and health policy.

"Her expertise and judgment will serve FDA well," Sebelius said.

For six years, Hamburg was commissioner of health for New York City, and was assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She also was founding VP for the Biological Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and was assistant secretary for planning and evaluation for the HHS.

Hamburg was confirmed by the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.

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