Diana Zuckerman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Diana M. Zuckerman (born 16 June 1950[1] ) is an expert on national health policy, particularly in women's health. She is the President of the National Center for Health Research (formerly National Research Center for Women & Families) and the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.[2]

Life and work[edit]

Zuckerman earned her B.A. in psychology from Smith College and then obtained a Ph.D in psychology from Ohio State University in 1977. At Yale Medical School she was a post-doctoral fellow in epidemiology and public health from 1979 to 1980. She was on the faculty at Vassar College and Yale University, and directed a longitudinal study of college students as director of the Seven College Study at Harvard University, publishing books and articles on the impact of media on children, the impact of religion on the health of the elderly, and how women's life experiences influence their mental and physical health. She left academia in 1983 when she was selected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellowship program.[3]

From 1985 to 1993 she worked at the U.S. Congress in a House subcommittee where she was responsible for a dozen Congressional oversight investigations on health and social policy, including political manipulation of government grants to prevent child abuse, lack of safeguards for infertility treatments, financial conflicts of interest among National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipients, and the lack of safety studies on breast implants. Information from the hearings received widespread public health, government, and media attention, resulting in several policy and regulatory changes, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring implant manufacturers to submit safety studies for the first time.[3]

In 1993, Zuckerman joined the staff of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and began an investigation that resulted in the first Congressional hearings focused on the possible causes of Gulf War syndrome. In 1995 she was a senior policy advisor in the Clinton Administration. From 1996, she undertook leading roles in non-profit organizations, including, from 1999, presidency of the National Research Center for Women & Families[3] (renamed the National Center for Health Research in 2014) and The Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund. In 2010, she was inducted into the Women in Medicine International Hall of Fame by the American Medical Women's Association.

Her work focuses on improving the quality of medical products and healthcare in the United States. She has been highly critical of scientific and medical research paid for by companies, who then use this to promote their products, as well as the lack of media coverage on independently funded research that challenges industry-funded research. She has said:

You've heard of junk science — a term coined by corporations to describe research they don’t like — but the real danger to public health might be called "checkbook science": research intended not to expand knowledge or to benefit humanity, but instead to sell products.[4]

In February 2011, Zuckerman and colleagues Paul Brown and Dr. Steven Nissen published a study in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Internal Medicine, which evaluated the FDA’s recalls of devices that the agency considered potentially deadly or otherwise very high risk.[5] Based on FDA data, the authors determined that most of the devices that were high-risk recalls had never been studied in clinical trials prior to FDA approval, and that the FDA needed to use more stringent criteria for implanted medical devices and those used to diagnose serious illnesses, and an editorial in the same issue agreed.[6] In April 2011, Zuckerman presented the results of the study at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging[7]

Zuckerman is the author of five books, several book chapters, and dozens of articles in medical and academic journals, and in newspapers across the country. Her policy work has resulted in news coverage on all the major TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, public television, 60 Minutes, 20/20, National Public Radio, and in major U.S. print media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Detroit Free Press, New York Daily News, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Family Circle, The New Yorker, Glamour, Self, as well as many other newspapers, magazines, and radio programs.[8]

Published articles[edit]

Zuckerman frequently writes articles regarding medical drugs and devices, as well as public health policy. Recent articles include:

  • Doamekpor LA, Zuckerman DM (October 2014). "Lack of diversity in cancer drug clinical trials may exacerbate racial disparities in mortality rates". Cancer Epidemiology 38 (5): 645–6. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2014.06.007. PMID 25048155. 
  • Mazzucco AE, Zuckerman DM (August 2014). "Comment on "Silicone wristbands as personal passive samplers"". Environmental Science & Technology 48 (15): 8926. doi:10.1021/es502594c. PMID 25010518. 
  • Fox DM, Zuckerman DM (March 2014). "Regulatory reticence and medical devices". The Milbank Quarterly 92 (1): 151–9. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12044. PMID 24597559. 
  • Yttri J, Zuckerman D (October 2013). "Addressing the need for new antibacterials". The Lancet. Infectious Diseases 13 (10): 834. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70240-8. PMID 24070559. 
  • Terplan M, Zuckerman D (October 2013). "Comment on 'Statement on combined hormonal contraceptives containing third- or fourth-generation progestogens or cyproterone acetate, and the associated risk of thromboembolism'". The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 39 (4): 304. doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2013-100693. PMID 24062505. 
  • Zuckerman D (March 2013). "Hip implant failure for men and women: what and when we need to know. Comment on 'Sex and risk of hip implant failure'". JAMA Internal Medicine 173 (6): 442–3. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.19. PMID 23420302. 
  • Zuckerman D, Booker N, Nagda S (December 2012). "Public health implications of differences in U.S. and European Union regulatory policies for breast implants". Reproductive Health Matters 20 (40): 102–11. doi:10.1016/S0968-8080(12)40662-0. PMID 23245415. 
  • Abraham A, Zuckerman D (November 2011). "Adolescents, celebrity worship, and cosmetic surgery". The Journal of Adolescent Health 49 (5): 453–4. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.08.014. PMID 22018558. 
  • Zuckerman DM, Brown P, Nissen SE (June 2011). "Medical device recalls and the FDA approval process". Archives of Internal Medicine 171 (11): 1006–11. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.30. PMID 21321283. 
  • Zuckerman DM (May 2010). "Reasonably safe? Breast implants and informed consent". Reproductive Health Matters 18 (35): 94–102. doi:10.1016/S0968-8080(10)35520-0. PMID 20541088. 


Zuckerman has appeared before numerous FDA advisory committees to testify as a medical expert on a variety of drugs and devices. On December 12, 2013, Zuckerman testified regarding the type-2 diabetes drug dapagliflozin (Farxiga), saying: "My concern about this drug is that there are just too many unanswered questions – and those unanswered questions are frightening ones. That was true when the FDA rejected this application for approval 2 years ago, and it is still true today." She cited studies that highlighted the risks that the drug poses, as well as methodological concerns such as a lack of diversity in clinical trials.[9] On November 14, 2012, Zuckerman made a statement at a Capitol Hill press conference about the VALID Compounding Act. She stated that loopholes in the FDA law, including compounding pharmacies, have allowed hundreds of people to get sick with meningitis and several to die. The VALID Compounding Act is designed to close the loopholes that are so harmful to patients.[10]


  1. ^ http://authorities.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?AuthRecID=3305166&v1=1&HC=1&SEQ=20071211042258&PID=27945[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
  3. ^ a b c National Research Center for Women & Families staff listing Accessed June 14, 2010
  4. ^ Zuckerman, Diana (2002)Hype in health reporting. Accessed August 16, 2006
  5. ^ Zuckerman DM, Brown P, Nissen SE (June 2011). "Medical device recalls and the FDA approval process". Archives of Internal Medicine 171 (11): 1006–11. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.30. PMID 21321283. 
  6. ^ Redberg RF, Dhruva SS (June 2011). "Medical device recalls: get it right the first time: Comment on "Medical device recalls and the FDA approval process"". Archives of Internal Medicine 171 (11): 1011–2. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.27. PMID 21321286. 
  7. ^ http://aging.senate.gov[full citation needed]
  8. ^ http://center4research.org/about-us/key-staff/[full citation needed]
  9. ^ http://center4research.org/public-policy/testimony-briefings-statements/statementdapagliflozin/[full citation needed]
  10. ^ http://www.stopcancerfund.org/in-the-news/valid-compounding-press/[full citation needed]