Peter Marks, the director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), announced the upcoming departure of two top vaccine regulators to his staff in an internal memo, which was obtained by ABC News.
Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR) and her deputy, Dr. Phil Krause, are set to leave the agency in October and November respectively, according to the memo.
Krause, who’s been with the agency for over a decade, and Gruber, who has been with the FDA for over 30 years, were instrumental in the review and authorization of the three COVID-19 vaccines, the memo said.
The memo said that Gruber will be “retiring” and gave no other details about Krause’s departure.
ABC News has reached out to both Gruber and Krause for comment.
When reached for comment about their departure, an FDA spokesperson told ABC News the agency is “confident in the expertise and ability of our staff to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines.”
Their departures come at a critical time for the vaccine review team. After facing pressure to move as fast as possible to get vaccines’ full licensure done, the agency is now weighing booster shots for a wider pool of Americans.
The timing of the booster shot approval has been a bone of contention amongst federal agencies after the Biden administration announced the availability of booster shots would begin ahead of any ruling from the FDA or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory groups.
-ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik