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WASHINGTON — Patrizia Cavazzoni has been named the permanent leader of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the agency’s acting commissioner, Janet Woodcock, announced Monday morning.

The position of CDER director is one of the most influential at the sprawling agency. Cavazzoni, who is in her late 50s, was handpicked by Woodcock to join the agency in 2018 and has been leading the drug center in an acting role since last spring. Cavazzoni is known as a problem-solver who has taken on some of the FDA’s most pressing problems, former top FDA officials told STAT last year.

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