Personal Statement for FDA Fellowship Program

My interest in pursuing a FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program intensified during my postdoctoral work. As opposed to discouraging me with the tremendous demands for creativity and work, the postdoctoral fellowship at National Cancer Institute (NCI) helped develop my interest in regulatory science. I worked in the Cancer Stem section of the Laboratory of Cancer Prevention. The focus of my study was to screen various herbal supplements for their efficacy as a prostate cancer preventative and /or a therapeutic agent. Working on this project contributed to helping me understand various concepts pertinent to regulatory science. For instance, I learned that while new pharmaceutical drugs undergo extensive reviewing by the FDA before approval, the regulation of herbal remedies is surprisingly quite limited.

In general, health benefits can be claimed for a herbal remedy if the label states that the claims are not evaluated by the FDA and do not have the intention to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.  In fact, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which was signed by President Clinton and passed by congress, significantly limits the FDA regulations on dietary supplements. As a result of the recent integration and innovation in medicine, business, as well as technology, there should be improved regulation and compliance. This will ensure safe and reliable products, as well as their availability to the public in order for people to continue leading lives that will be healthy.

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I have worked in a basic science research setting for over 10 years. As such, I possess a strong and proven background in biology, in general, and molecular biology. I believe that regulatory science bridges basic scientific research discoveries and new marketed, medical products.  Hence, I am interested in work, which is directly involved in determining efficacy and safety of products that are close to truly aiding people at risk. Therefore, this Fellowship will enable me to achieve this dream since it is designed to accomplish this goal. I have made appropriate and adequate preparations that will enable me to become a suitable candidate for this fellowship program. As a postdoctoral fellow at NCI, I am capable of evaluating, interpreting and summarizing technical data and have excellent oral, written, and presentation skills.  Additionally, my teaching and leadership experience will enable me complete the program with ease.

My desire to apply for this Fellowship also emanates from the fact that I am interested in increasing my competency in the field of science. I strongly believe that this high competency in science will enable me to expand my capabilities further as a professional. With this Fellowship, in a two year span, I will have the opportunity to receive the mentoring and guidance necessary to have an understanding of   regulatory review, which includes issues such as FDA activities across drugs, foods, cosmetics, biologics, devices, as well as tobacco.  My interest in this fellowship program also arises from the fact that it gives insights into issues such as the evaluation of drugs, which is a key issue of concern in regulation. I have the desire to understand issues that relate to nutrition and food safety. Thus, the diversity of the program and the flexibility it offers motivates me to apply for this Fellowship.

Personally, I have gained a lot from cooperative experience. I have confidence in the ability to adapt to strange environments, and gain knowledge on new subject matter. I am also familiar with the    hard work and dedication necessary to project advancement.  I feel that my knowledge of biology and my research experience have adequately prepared me for the FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship program.