University of Florida pediatrics professor appointed to FDA committee
Federal agencies pursue world-renowned leaders when they seek expert advice. A recent search by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for one such expert ended with a University of Florida College of Medicine pediatric researcher.
Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UF Powell Gene Therapy Center and professor of pediatrics in the UF College of Medicine, has been selected to serve on the FDA’s Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee. Nominated for his expertise in the field of molecular genetics and pediatrics, Byrne will join 12 other committee members who report directly to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide guidance to this important regulatory group at a time when genetic medicines have the potential to significantly impact inherited diseases, especially those that affect children,” said Byrne.
The Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee reviews and evaluates data relating to the safety, effectiveness and appropriate use of human cells, human tissues, gene transfer therapies and xenotransplantation products for transplantation, implantation, infusion and gene transfer. These determinations are imperative to prevent and treat a broad spectrum of human diseases, as well as to reconstruct, repair or replace tissues for various conditions.
Byrne’s term began April 1 and will last through March 2018.
He is well-versed in the committee’s mission. He leads research at the UF Powell Gene Therapy Center which merges molecular genetics research and health care delivery by developing new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of human diseases that involve gene transfer. He also serves as chairman of the Regulatory Committee of the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy.
“Dr. Byrne is a recognized international leader in pediatrics,” said Scott Rivkees, M.D., chairman of pediatrics. “His appointment to the FDA panel will bring tremendous expertise to the body, and is a fitting recognition for his expertise as one of our country’s best physician scientists.”
The FDA relies on approximately 50 committees to obtain independent expert advice on scientific, technical and policy matters.