Join the UC Davis Office of Research and the UC Davis School of Medicine for an exclusive conversation with Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer of the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Dr. Kessler will be answering questions prepared by UC Davis experts in pathology, immunology and infectious disease, as well as questions from those in attendance. Please register for this event using the link below and submit your questions for Dr. Kessler in the space provided on the registration form.
Dr. David Kessler
Chief Science Officer for COVID-19 Task Force, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Kessler was born in New York in 1951. He graduated Amherst College in 1973, and then went on to earn a degree from Harvard Medical School (1973-1979). While at Harvard Dr. Kessler obtained a law degree from the University of Chicago (1977).
From 1981 to 1984 he served as a consultant for the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, and from 1982 to 1984 he was special assistant to the president of Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Dr. Kessler then went on to serve as medical director of the Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1984 until President Bush appointed him as FDA commissioner in December of 1990.
Dr. Kessler was sworn in on the same day that the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) was signed. Early in his tenure, he took action to protect consumers from misleading uses of the term “fresh” in conjunction with processed or partially processed orange juice and tomato products, gaining himself the nickname “Elliot Knessler.” Kessler himself later appeared on major news and entertainment shows to unveil the agency’s new “Nutrition Facts” food labels. Designed with bold new graphics, they were intended to make food labels more useful to the consumer and soon became one of the most recognizable graphic formats in the world.
On January 15, 2021, President Biden named Dr. Kessler Chief Science Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is in charge of the effort to accelerate the development, manufacture and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.