Meet the Director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD

Patrizia Cavazzoni is the current Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CDER works to regulate the medical products under its jurisdiction, oversee the development of generic and new drugs, evaluate drug approval applications, monitor drug safety, conduct research to advance regulatory science and protect the public from harmful products through enforcement actions. 

After receiving her medical degree at McGill University, Dr. Cavazzoni completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in mood disorders at the University of Ottawa. From there, she joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and joined the Mood Disorders Program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. She studied the genetic predictors of bipolar disorder and authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications. 

Dr. Cavazzoni also has an extensive background in the pharmaceutical industry and held several senior positions in clinical development, regulatory affairs, and safety risk management for large companies such as Pfizer. In 2018, Dr. Cavazzoni joined FDA as CDER’s Deputy Director for Operations. She served as Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs in 2019. 

Dr. Cavazzoni was officially sworn into her position as Director in 2021. She spent 2020 as the Acting Director when Janet Woodcock, MD, left to lead the therapeutics arm of the COVID-19 vaccine accelerator Operation Warp Speed. 

AAHP will monitor how Dr. Cavazzoni's position will affect the ongoing relationships and shared efforts between FDA and our industry.