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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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New Deputy Director for Office of Research

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter November/December 2003 Volume XVIII, No 6

CVM is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marleen Wekell as the Office of Research's new Deputy Director. She holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Seattle University, an M.S. in Marine Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology and Biochemistry from University of Washington. Dr. Wekell is a published author and international speaker, and holds three patents on a cell assay for marine biotoxins with others in chemistry from the ORA FDA Seafood Products Research Center in Bothell, WA.

Dr. Wekell comes to CVM from New York City, where she was Director of the FDA's North East Regional Laboratory (NRL) for three years. In New York, Dr. Wekell participated on a national committee (with CDC, USDA) for countering food bioterrorism and networking with NYC, counties, states and other Federal agencies to address national emergencies. In addition, she helped increase productivity of the NRL by developing and successfully implementing a rapid food analytical microbiology laboratory utilizing the latest rapid methods (productivity was increased by 100%), and she initiated development of a forensic microbiology unit at the NRL to work on criminal cases together with the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations and the FDA Forensic Chemistry Center.

Previously, Dr. Wekell spent 17 years as Director of FDA's Seafood Products Research Center, in Bothell, Washington. She was responsible for developing a field research center de novo in FDA, and developed many methods that were officially collaborated by AOAC International or were incorporated into the Bacteriological Analytical Manual. In addition, Dr. Wekell's group developed the web-based Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia, and conducted research and methods development on chemical indicators of decomposition, marine toxins, microbial pathogens and parasites in seafood.

Dr. Wekell has held additional FDA positions with the Office of Regional Operations, Office of Seafood, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs, and has served as a Professor at the University of Washington and Seattle University.