Namandjé N. Bumpus, Ph.D., current Chief Scientist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will become the next FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner when Janet Woodcock, M.D. retires in early 2024. The news was confirmed in a series of posts on X by FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., as well as in an FDA staff email shared on X by FDA Assistant Commissioner for Media Affairs, Michael Felberbaum.

As Principal Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Bumpus will work closely with FDA leadership to develop, advance, and implement key public health initiatives, as well as to oversee the agency’s day-to-day functions, according to the staff email. One of her main priorities is to assist in the proposed reorganization of a unified Human Foods Program, led by the new FDA Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods, Jim Jones, including creating a new model for the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA).

Dr. Bumpus joined FDA in 2022 as Chief Scientist, a role in which she has overseen and elevated FDA’s research, science, and innovation efforts. In the FDA staff email, Dr. Califf described her as a champion of plain language and truth-telling in public health communications.

Prior to her time at FDA, Dr. Bumpus was the E.K. Marshall and Thomas H. Maren Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She served previously as associate dean for basic research in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which she joined as faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor. Dr. Bumpus’ research has focused on drug metabolism, pharmacogenetics, bioanalytical chemistry, and infectious disease pharmacology.

Dr. Bumpus earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Occidental College in 2003 and a doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Michigan in 2007. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and experimental medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California in 2010.

Additionally, Dr. Bumpus currently serves as president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. She previously served as chair of the U.S. National Instututes of Health (NIH) Xenobiotic and Nutrient Disposition and Action study section.  

Honors that Dr. Bumpus has received include the Leon I. Goldberg Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the James Gillette Award from the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics, the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S.  government on early career scientists and engineers. Dr. Bumpus is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and she became a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Class of 2022, which is one of the highest honors in the fields of health, science, and medicine.