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Head of FDA to open 84th Scientific Sessions


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The 84th Scientific Sessions will open with a special lecture from the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Commissioner of Food and Drugs Robert M. Califf, MD, will address the diabetes professionals gathered at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Friday, June 21, as part of the Welcome to the 84th ADA Scientific Sessions—Keynote Address and Panel Discussion.

The session will take place 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET in West Hall B3-4. It also will be livestreamed on the virtual meeting platform for registered meeting participants and will be available on-demand following the Scientific Sessions.

Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC
Robert M. Califf, MD

Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the ADA, will provide a welcome message, and a panel discussion will follow the Keynote Address from Dr. Califf.

As the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Califf is focused on strengthening programs and policies that enable the FDA to further its mission to protect and promote public health.

Earlier this year, he addressed the growing influence of new technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), on health care in a speech to the Coalition for Health AI.

“Our biomedical science, clinical, and public health enterprises are ripe with achievement today, but we are on the verge of revolutionary change,” Dr. Califf said. “Genetics and genomics and the digitization of information are building blocks upon which much larger advances in biomedicine and health care can occur. Without a doubt, AI will become a much larger integrating factor in changing the way we think about health and health care, the technologies and products we use, and the way we regulate the vast industries that are involved.” 

His current term at the FDA began in February 2022. He also served as Commissioner of Food and Drugs in 2016-2017, and as the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco in 2015-2016.

Previously, Dr. Califf was the Head of Medical Strategy and Senior Advisor at Alphabet Inc., where he contributed to strategy and policy for the health subsidiaries Verily Life Sciences and Google Health.

Before joining Alphabet in 2019, Dr. Califf was Professor of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at Duke University. He also served as Director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute and founding Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

During his time at Duke, Dr. Califf led major initiatives aimed at improving methods and infrastructure for clinical research, including a public-private partnership by the FDA and Duke. He also served as the principal investigator for Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Award and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory Coordinating Center.

As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, health care quality, and clinical research, Dr. Califf has led multiple landmark clinical trials and is a frequently cited author in biomedical science, with more than 1,300 publications in the peer-reviewed literature.

Dr. Califf attained one of the highest honors in health and medicine in 2016 when he was named as a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM). He has served on several IOM committees and as a member of the FDA Cardiorenal Advisory Panel and the FDA Science Board’s Subcommittee on Science and Technology. Dr. Califf has also served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Library of Medicine, as well as on advisory committees for the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Council of the National Institute on Aging.

He is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a fellowship in cardiology at Duke.

Get On-Demand Access to the Scientific Sessions

There is still time to register for on-demand access to learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care presented at the 84th Scientific Sessions. Select session recordings will be available through Aug. 26.