Obama’s FDA Commissioner Speaks At York

Margaret Hamburg, MD, the FDA Commissioner under President Barack Obama, recently came to York College/CUNY, where she delivered a wide-ranging address on the FDA’s activities under her leadership.
Obama’s FDA Commissioner Speaks At York

Carlisle Towery of Greater Jamaica, Rev. Floyd Flake, former Queens Borough President, Claire Shulman, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, York's President, Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks and Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd

Her speech, “The New FDA in the Global Age,” commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Northeast Regional Laboratory of the FDA on York’s Jamaica campus and was followed by a town hall and poster contest with students in the Academic Core Building.

Hamburg, who served as New York City Health Commissioner under then-mayor David Dinkins, was well received by the capacity crowd in the Performing Arts Center and later by students at the town hall meeting.

The daughter of two physicians, Dr. Hamburg praised the CUNY College and leaders such as former Congressman Flake and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, who were in the audience, for their foresight in working with York and the FDA, to establish the partnership between the two entities.

Members of York’s science faculty have long enjoyed a collaborative relationship with the FDA on campus and some FDA scientists have also enjoyed adjunct status at the College. 

And students are an integral part of the equation. There is an FDA Scholarship program, which allows for York scholars with interest in chemistry and biology to intern at the facility. Some graduates have been hired there and many others have gone on to medical and PhD programs. One former intern, Alonza Cruse is now district director, FDA, Los Angeles.

Hamburg views York’s proximity to JFK Airport as another opportunity whose time has come for the FDA to exploit. She envisions an even richer relationship with the college, given its strong science programs, its world-class faculty doing cutting-edge research with students and the willingness of President Marcia V. Keizs and her administration to explore the possibilities.

Dr. Hamburg was introduced for the main event by Congressman Gregory Meeks and later for the town hall, by Andrew Campbell, PhD, of York’s Class of 1981. Dr. Campbell is a professor of Medical Science, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Brown University.

“She was a most significant guest in [terms of] who we are and who we want to be,” said President Keizs. “It is important to the stakes that we are claiming.”