FDA and UCI Collaborate on Research Opportunities

With the construction of a new facility near campus, UCI and the FDA have begun joint research efforts with a number of students holding positions for the government agency.
The collaboration will produce more opportunities for students and faculty to be exposed to a variety of research topics like E. coli in lettuce.
This new partnership resulted from initiatives taken by the FDA which until 2 months ago, was searching for a location for a new research facility.
According to William H. Parker, vice chancellor of research, the FDA purchased 10 acres of land to construct the two-story building that will employ a number of scientists and researchers from the FDA.
After numerous attempts to select exactly where the new FDA building would be built, government officials decided to erect the facility in close proximity to UCI in order to pursue a relationship with the university’s growing research programs.
The reason for this new facility was the result of a downsizing in the FDA’s southwest regional offices.
‘They approached UCI about purchasing the land and wanted to be next to campus in order to conduct joint research,’ Parker said.
With the establishment of such a prominent research facility, a window of opportunity has already opened for 14 students both in the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels who have been hired by the FDA for various jobs.
‘Not only will they receive salaries but more importantly, they will be able to gain work experience with a federal agency,’ Parker said. ‘The faculty and research labs will also open opportunities with the FDA for field study insights and opportunities.’
According to Parker, the partnership between the two groups was mutual, adding that it was ‘natural’ for the two groups to conduct research together.
Some students are hopeful that the collaboration will gear UCI towards more pharmacology-related fields.
‘The partnership between UCI and the FDA will have an enormous impact on the fast growing demand of students interested in pharmacology and closely related health science fields,’ said Naem Mohamed, a fourth-year biological sciences major. ‘With the lack of classes at UCI geared towards areas of pharmacy for students to take part in, the new alliance will create several sought-after opportunities to gain valuable experience and internships.’
Parker explained the real benefit of this collaboration is the addition of a tremendous research opportunity for the UCI community.
Ericson, who also serves as the faculty liaison between UCI and the FDA said research will continue indefinitely in the areas of etymology, biology, medical devices, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Excitement for the research collaboration has stemmed from the reputation of a powerful government institution.
‘The real opportunities from this interaction come from having first-class scientists interacting with students, faculty and staff,’ Parker said.
Although the FDA is not currently hiring, Ericson said there will be active recruitment on campus for summer internships.
Previous UCI-FDA collaborations include EPINET which began 7 years ago.
According to Ericson, the EPINET project resulted in the prevention of approximately five unsafe products including venetian blinds and candy wrappers.
The project’s primary goal was to provide California health agencies with immediate access to toxicological health alerts.

FDA have begun joint research efforts with a number of students holding positions for the government agency.
The collaboration will produce more opportunities for students and faculty to be exposed to a variety of research topics like the possibility of E. coli in lettuce.
This new partnership was a result from initiatives taken by the FDA which until 2 months ago, was searching for a location for a new research facility.
According to William H. Parker, vice chancellor of research, the FDA purchased 10 acres of land on the north campus to construct the two-story building that will employ a number of scientists and researchers from the FDA.
After numerous attempts to select exactly where the new FDA building would be built, government officials decided to erect the facility in close proximity to UCI in order to pursue a relationship with the university’s growing research programs.
The reason for this new facility was the result of a downsizing in the FDA’s southwest regional offices.
‘They approached UCI about purchasing the land and wanted to be next to campus in order to conduct joint research,’ Parker said.
With the establishment of such a prominent research facility, a window of opportunity has already opened for 14 students both in the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels who have been hired by the FDA for various jobs.
‘Not only will they receive salaries but more importantly, they will be able to gain work experience with a federal agency,’ Parker said. ‘The faculty and research labs will also open opportunities with the FDA for field study insights.’
According to Parker, the partnership between the two groups was mutual, adding that it was ‘natural’ for the two groups to conduct research together.
Some students are hopeful that the collaboration will gear UCI towards more pharmacology-related fields.
‘The partnership between UCI and the FDA will have an enormous impact on the fast growing demand of students interested in pharmacology and closely related health science fields,’ said Naem Mohamed, a fourth-year biological sciences and sociology major. ‘With the lack of classes at UCI geared towards areas of pharmacy for students to take part in, the new alliance will create several sought-after opportunities to gain valuable experience and internships.’
Parker explained the real benefit of this collaboration is the addition of a tremendous research opportunity to the UCI community.
Some of the fields that the FDA will have an impact on will be the university’s expanding research in the fields of pharmacology and public health.
Ericson, who also serves as the faculty liaison between UCI and the FDA said research will continue indefinitely in the areas of etymology, biology, medical devices, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Excitement for the research collaboration has stemmed from the reputation of a powerful government institution.
‘The real opportunities from this interaction come from having first-class scientists interacting with students, faculty and staff,’ Parker said.
Although the FDA is not currently hiring, Ericson said there will be active recruitment on campus for summer internships.
Previous UCI-FDA collaborations include EPINET which began 7 years ago.
According to Ericson, the EPINET project resulted in the prevention of approximately five unsafe products including venetian blinds and candy wrappers.
The project’s primary goal was to provide California health agencies with immediate access to toxicological health alerts.