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FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Aug. 12, 2011
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FDA, state of Arkansas sign agreement to advance regulatory science
First-ever signing is part of NCTR’s 40th anniversary celebration
An agreement to establish a virtual Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science was signed today between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) and the state of Arkansas.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the first between the FDA and a state establishing a joint center to enhance regulatory science. It sets the framework for joint research, educational training, collaborations and outreach in support of the FDA’s mission to protect and promote public health.
The memorandum also establishes a committee to be co-chaired by NCTR and the state of Arkansas, and includes state government representatives and academic institutions as partners with the FDA.
FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, and NCTR Director William Slikker, Ph.D., signed the memorandum during ceremonies to mark the NCTR’s 40th anniversary at the center’s Jefferson Laboratories in Jefferson, Ark.
“This MOU is an important part of modernizing the FDA through the leveraging of intellectual, human and financial resources to better protect and promote public health,” said Hamburg. “We applaud Governor Beebe and the state of Arkansas for partnering with us.”
Based in Jefferson, Ark., NCTR provides global leadership and innovative scientific solutions that support the FDA’s public health mission. The FDA center conducts peer-reviewed research and develops novel scientific tools to aid the agency in regulatory decision-making processes. It also provides multidisciplinary training and fosters national and international collaborations with scientists from government, academia and industry worldwide.
NCTR, in partnership with researchers in government, industry and academia develops, refines and applies current and emerging technologies to improve safety evaluation of FDA-regulated products. Its peer-reviewed interdisciplinary toxicology research identifies the biological effects of potentially toxic chemicals, defines complex mechanisms that govern toxicity and develops methods to improve assessment of human exposure, susceptibility and risk to toxins and pathogens in FDA-regulated products.
“This signing further secures NCTR as one of Arkansas’s top research facilities,” Gov. Beebe said. “The center has brought scientific leaders from around the world to Arkansas for decades, and we are excited about its continued mission to protect the health of all Americans.”
The MOU will give scientists and regulators from around the world access to additional training and resources through the newly established Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science.
“For 40 years dedicated NCTR scientists have played a pivotal role in aiding the mission of our agency,” said NCTR Director William Slikker, Ph.D. “The scientific innovations and novel research approaches developed here have aided the work of the FDA to predict potential toxicity of FDA-regulated products. This MOU enables us to draw down on the research and development ongoing within the state of Arkansas which will truly help us to continue advancing regulatory science.”
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The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.