James Tanner

James Tanner

Title: Federal Agency Administrator

Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

James Tanner, Federal Agency Administrator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in chemistry.

Dr. Tanner found science fascinating from an early age and pursued the field academically. He first earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Eastern Kentucky University in 1961 and continued his studies at the University of Kentucky, earning a PhD in radiochemistry in 1966. Furthermore, Dr. Tanner completed postdoctoral coursework at Carnegie-Mellon University. Early in his career, he served as a postdoctoral research chemist at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and then a lecturer at Carnegie-Mellon University. In 1969, Dr. Tanner landed a position with the Food and Drug Administration as a research chemist. He worked for the FDA until his retirement in 1999 where he served as the assistant to the director and chief of the methods research branch.

The highlight of Dr. Tanner’s career was the work he did at FDA, which he considered some of his best work. He was responsible for coordinating analytical methodology for infant formula in 1980. He had been working with the infant formula companies because the infant formula had been made with a very low concentration of potassium and sodium, which resulted in a failure to thrive in children and babies who got that as the only means of nourishment. In turn, that led to the Infant Formula Act while he served as the Branch Chief of the Nutrient Surveillance Branch. In this position, Dr. Tanner was responsible for analyzing infant formula and checking it after the law came out. They had to make sure they met the requirements specified in the act.

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