Cavazzoni Named CDER Director

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Acting FDA commissioner announces permanent appointment of Patrizia Cavazzoni as CDER director, following year-long acting-director role.

Patrizia Cavazzoni was named director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) on April 12, 2021, having served in an acting director role for more than one year.

Cavazzoni was appointed acting director in 2020 when then CDER Director Janet Woodcock left FDA to oversee therapeutics development for Operation Warp Speed, the federal government efforts to combat COVID-19. Woodcock, current acting commissioner for FDA, made the announcement via Twitter.

Cavazzoni joined FDA in January 2018 as CDER’s Deputy Director for Operations; she was acting principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs from January–February 2019.

Cavazzoni earned a medical degree at McGill University in Canada. She was an investigator in clinical trials of novel antipsychotic and antidepressant medications, was appointed to the faculty of medicine at the University of Ottawa, and joined the Mood Disorders Program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Later, Cavazzoni worked in the pharmaceutical industry and held senior positions in clinical development, regulatory affairs, and safety risk management across multiple therapeutic areas, until she joined FDA in 2018.

Cavazzoni is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and is a fellow of the Canadian Royal College of Physician and Surgeons and the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


“Having spent most of my career with CDER, I have a deep appreciation of the role. Dr. Cavazzoni’s credentials are of the highest caliber, and I know she will continue to excel in advancing the FDA’s public health mission for the benefit of all,” Woodcock noted on Twitter.

Via Twitter, Cavazzoni thanked Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Woodcock “for entrusting me with leading CDER, and I look forward with gratitude and anticipation to serving the center and the public for many years to come.”

Source: FDA