FDA Names David W.K. Acheson, MD, Director of the Food Safety and Security Staff

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces the appointment of David W.K. Acheson, MD, as the director of the food safety and security staff in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). In this capacity he will report directly to CFSAN Center director, Robert E. Brackett, PhD. 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.

Acheson will provide leadership across a wide range of food safety and security issues currently facing the FDA. "As a physician with a strong background in both public health and infectious diseases, Dr. Acheson brings unique skills and experience to this critical job," said Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD. "Dr. Acheson's broad background and outstanding career in foodborne pathogen research will bring a medical perspective to the many critical food safety and security issues now facing the agency."

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, Md., 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 2000-2001 and as their chief medical officer from 2001-2002. In September 2002, Acheson joined the FDA as the chief medical officer for CFSAN.

Acheson assumed his new position on Jan. 25, 2004.

Source: FDA