Video encyclopedia

Frances Oldham Kelsey


Frances Oldham Kelsey, Thalidomide Hero, Dies at 101


How one scientist averted a national health crisis - Andrea Tone


UVic Legacy Awards - Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey -- Alumni Legacy Award


Canadian thalidomide 'hero' dies at 101


Frances Oldham Kelsey: Taking a Stand for Drug Safety NHD17

Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey, CM was a Canadian-American pharmacologist and physician. As a reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), she refused to authorize thalidomide for market because she had concerns about the drug's safety. Her concerns proved to be justified when it was shown that thalidomide caused serious birth defects. Kelsey's career intersected with the passage of laws strengthening FDA oversight of pharmaceuticals. Kelsey was the second woman to be awarded the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy.