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FDA Names New Food Safety Chief

WASHINGTON, DC - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has appointed Dr. David W.K. Acheson as director of the Food Safety and Security Staff in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

In this capacity Acheson will report directly to CFSAN Center Director Dr. Robert E. Brackett. In addition to his new role, Acheson will continue to serve as the chief medical officer for CFSAN, providing oversight for all medical and clinical aspects of food safety and security issues under FDA's authority.

As director of food safety and security, Acheson will provide leadership across a wide range of food safety and security issues currently facing FDA. Internationally recognized for both his public health expertise in food safety and his research in infectious diseases, Acheson is a fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

After graduating from the University of London Medical School in 1980, he trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases and was in clinical practice before joining Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1987. As an associate professor at Tufts University he undertook basic molecular pathogenesis research on foodborne pathogens, focusing on Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. In 2001, Acheson relocated his laboratory to the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore to continue research on foodborne pathogens.

In addition to his academic career as a researcher, he also served as senior food safety scientist for the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service from 2000-01 and as its chief medical officer from 2001-02. In September 2002, Acheson joined FDA as the chief medical officer for CFSAN.

Acheson assumed his new position on Jan. 25.

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