Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, named FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Amy Abernethy, MD, PhDAmy Abernethy, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of medicine (Medical Oncology) and a Duke University School of Medicine alumna, has been appointed the FDA’s new principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs.  Her appointment will begin early next year.

Dr. Abernethy is currently chief medical officer, chief scientific officer and senior vice president of oncology for Flatiron Health, a healthcare services and technology company.  Prior to joining Flatiron Health, Abernethy was a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and led the Center for Learning Health Care in the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Duke Cancer Care Research Program in the Duke Cancer Institute.  

With more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, Abernethy is an internationally-recognized expert in clinical trials, cancer outcomes research, health policy, health services research, patient reported outcomes, clinical informatics, and patient-centered care.

Abernethy received her medical degree from Duke University, where she also did her internal medicine residency, served as chief resident and completed her hematology/oncology fellowship. Her PhD is from Flinders University in Australia, focused on evidence-based medicine and clinical informatics, and her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Pennsylvania.  

“Dr. Abernethy is a gifted oncologist and a specialist in palliative care medicine who has dedicated her career to patient care and medicine,” wrote Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs, in a memo to FDA employees.  “She’s a highly regarded thought leader who has held numerous positions of leadership in her fields of interest and distinguished herself for her intellect, her passion for patient care and science, and her collegiality.”

Abernethy’s experience in evidence generation and clinical trial efficiency and innovation will advance the FDA’s clinical policy and programs, he added.

“Dr. Abernethy is a great choice for deputy commissioner,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine. “She has the experience, passion and vision to make a meaningful impact at the FDA and more importantly for patients.”