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  1. FDA Leadership: 1907 to Today

 Photo of Frank E. Young, M.D.

Frank E. Young, M.D.

07/15/1984 - 12/17/1989*

Dr. Young was born in Mineola, New York in 1931. He graduated cum laude from the University of the State of New York, Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse, New York) in 1956 with an M.D., and from Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) in 1962 with his Ph.D. in microbiology. Young served an internship, as junior assistant resident and senior assistant resident (both in pathology) at University Hospitals, Western Reserve University (Ohio). He also performed his residency in pathology at the University Hospitals, Western Reserve University (Ohio). Before accepting the invitation to become Commissioner of Food and Drugs, he was appointed Dean, School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Rochester (New York).

Dr. Young was sworn-in as Commissioner by Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler on August 2, 1984. During his tenure, Young presided over several major agency events. Among these were passage of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act (1984), the opening of the MOD I research facility (1985), passage of the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (1987); the approval of the first drug to combat AIDS, zidovudine (AZT) (1987); instituting a fast track approval system for AIDS drugs (1988); and presiding over the generic drug crisis (1989).

Effective December 18, 1989, Dr. Young resigned as FDA Commissioner and accepted the position of Assistant Secretary for Health, Science, and the Environment under Secretary for Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan. He served as the director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness from 1993 until his retirement from federal service in 1996. Dr. Young currently is the Education Director for a large church in suburban Maryland.


*James Benson, deputy commissioner from 1988 to 1990, acted as commissioner from December 1989 to November 1990.

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