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Project on Government Oversight

Ned Feder, M.D.

Staff Scientist

Areas of expertise: Misconduct in the funding of biomedical research; misconduct by biomedical researchers

Dr. Ned Feder has examined and publicized instances of wrongdoing at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which conduct health-related research and oversee the safety and effectiveness of medical products.

Before joining POGO in September 2006, Dr. Feder was a scientist at the NIH. He came to the NIH in 1967 as the head of a lab group that conducted basic research in cell biology. In the mid-1980s he and an NIH colleague, Walter Stewart, began to study professional misconduct among biomedical researchers and found that violations of ethical standards were common. Published reports on their controversial observations drew attention in academia, in the press, and on Capitol Hill. Over the years Dr. Feder has published articles in the scientific and lay press on a wide range of topics including histochemistry, cell biology, mycology, scientific misconduct, and conflicts of interest. He received an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1953 and was a faculty member of the Harvard Biology Department from 1961 to 1967.

Since joining POGO, Dr. Feder has investigated and written about threats to public health in programs of the Department of Health and Human Services. Several journals, including Nature, The Scientist, and New England Journal of Medicine have published his letters. Dr Feder has been quoted by the Associated Press, Washington Post, and other publications.

POGO highlights:

  • Identified and wrote about NIH’s inadequate conflict-of-interest policies for biomedical researchers. The NIH later improved those policies, perhaps in part as a result of Dr. Feder’s efforts.
  • Identified and wrote about FDA policies for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medical devices. The policies may now be improving, perhaps in part as a result of Dr. Feder’s efforts.