Former FDA advisor Elizabeth Jacobson to address Harpur Forum


The Food and Drug Administration is one of the rare institutions that relies on both science and law, with science being the cornerstone of good regulatory decisions. Elizabeth D. Jacobson, a Binghamton University alumnae and former FDA deputy director for science and acting senior advisor for science, will discuss the cutting-edge and wide-ranging nature of science at the FDA at the breakfast meeting of the Harpur Forum, Wednesday, October 16, at the Binghamton Club. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and Jacobson will speak at 8 a.m.

Throughout her career Jacobson has been a key figure in a number of highly visible public health issues, including cellular telephones, electromagnetic interference, latex sensitivity, dental amalgam and excimer lasers. As acting senior advisor, she directed the FDA’s Office of Science Coordination and Communications and established an Anti-Bioterrorism Programs staff and an Office of Human Research Protection.

Jacobson is a founding member of the Eye Care Technology Forum, has been instrumental in the development of a cooperative agreement between the FDA and the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and co -chaired a World Health Organization (WHO) expert consultation.

She recently completed two elected terms as a member of the directors of the NCCLS, formerly the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, a voluntary consensus standards organization. Jacobson is past chair of the Global Harmonization Task Force and is a member of the scientific advisory board for Health Canada.

Prior to being named deputy director for Science at the FDA in 1990. Jacobson held a number of science management positions in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. She joined the FDA in 1975 as a research geneticist. Jacobson holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Binghamton University. She has a doctorate in biology from Georgetown University.

Developed in 1977, Harpur Forum is a limited membership organization whose purpose is devoted to strengthening bonds between Binghamton University and the Southern Tier. For more information, visit the Harpur Forum website at

Last Updated: 9/17/13