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Sommer Scholars

Kevin Fain, JD, DrPH, MPH

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • DrPH '15, Epidemiology

As the son of a trial lawyer, Kevin Fain grew up fascinated by his father’s affinity for the courtroom. “I enjoyed listening to him talk about the legal standards for his cases and the critical role for lawyers and judges to ensure these laws are applied fairly,” says Fain, a DrPH student studying epidemiology. Fain followed in his father’s footsteps, attending the University of Chicago Law School before heading to work as an attorney with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When Fain arrived there in 1995, the agency was attempting for the first time to use its legal authority to regulate tobacco accessibility and promotion to children. That challenge piqued his interest in public health—particularly drug safety and regulation issues. “The FDA is in such a difficult position, looking at evidence to balance drug safety and effectiveness,” Fain explains. Now, as a midcareer attorney and after 15 years at the FDA, Fain is pursuing a doctoral degree in epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. He wants to better understand the scientific side of drug policy. He's particularly interested in the elderly and populations not represented in drug safety policy analyses. "I want to work in a way that brings together my legal and epidemiology experience," Fain says. "You don't see a lot of research that brings both aspects together."

Current Position

Senior Advisor for Policy and Research, National Library of Medicine