FDA Hires New CTP Office of Science Director

Farrelly to head up Center for Tobacco Products role starting late March
FDA sign
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Center for Tobacco Product’s Office of Science will have a new director come March 26: Matthew Farrelly. Farrelly comes from RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, where he was the chief scientist and director of the Center for Health Analytics, Media and Policy.

Farrelly has worked for more than 25 years in the tobacco and nicotine science fields and is an internationally recognized expert with proven leadership and organizational management skills, according to the Food and Drug Administration, of which the CTP is part.

“He has led or been involved with numerous scientific endeavors related to tobacco control policies and regulatory approaches, including those related to graphic health warning labels, excise taxes, smoke-free policies, quit lines, state tobacco control programs, retail advertising and flavored tobacco products,” the FDA said. “He has also extensively researched the influence of mass reach health campaigns, including FDA’s The Real Cost.”

Farrelly has co-authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed scientific literature. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and a bachelor’s degree in economics and French from Indiana University.

Todd Cecil and Ben Apelberg have been serving as acting Office of Science directors.  

The CTP’s mission is to protect Americans from tobacco-related disease and death. Its director, Brian King, started with the agency in July 2022 following the retirement of Mitch Zeller. The Office of Science director's job, in part, is to identify, develop and enhance the science related to tobacco products, their use and the resulting morbidity and mortality so that regulatory decisions will have the greatest effect on improving public health, according to the FDA. 

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