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Scott Gottlieb Chosen for FDA

Scott Gottlieb is to be President Donald Trump's choice to lead the US Food and Drug Administration, NPR reports.

Gottlieb, a medical doctor, is currently a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where he has studied the FDA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He previously served as deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs at FDA during the George W. Bush administration, NPR adds.

Gottlieb also has strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the Los Angeles Times reports. It says that he received some $200,000 in 2015 from four large drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, for consulting, travel, and speeches. He is also a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates and is a managing director of investment banking at T.R. Winston & Co., it adds.

President Trump has called the drug-approval process at FDA "slow and burdensome" and has called for reform at the agency. Other names floated for FDA commissioner, such as Jim O'Neill, favored a revamp of the agency so that drugs could be sold as soon as they were determined to be safe.

But the Washington Post says that while Gottlieb is likely to take stances that are favorable to industry, it adds that he is also likely to support the FDA's role in ensuring that drugs are safe and effective before they are sold.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.