Hospital Ethicist to Join FDA's Office of Pediatric Therapeutics


The Food and Drug Administration announced that Children's Hospital investigator Robert M. Nelson, M.D., M.Div, Ph.D., Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, will join the Office of Pediatric Therapeutics as a pediatric ethicist, a position mandated by the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. The appointment, effective Oct. 15, reflects the commitment of the FDA to protecting children enrolled in clinical trials.

Dr. Nelson brings to the FDA unmatched experience addressing the challenging ethical issues surrounding children and clinical research. For more than two decades Dr. Nelson has cared for critically ill children, worked with parents and families, and published widely on ethical and regulatory issues in pediatric research and clinical care. Dr. Nelson has also been a consultant on ethical issues in research to the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, FDA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Medicine.

"Dr. Nelson's insight and knowledge, both of medicine and ethics, are exceptional and will be of enormous benefit to FDA as we continue to improve our scientific understanding of the medical needs of children, and assure that research activities are conducted according to the best ethical and medical principles," says Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, acting commissioner of Food and Drugs.

Dr. Nelson will maintain his faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and as director of the Children's Hospital Center for Research Integrity, established to further the responsible conduct of pediatric research.