Craig Garmendia

Degree: Ph.D in Public Health

College/School: Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work

While working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Craig A. Garmendia used his background in chemistry, with a bachelor’s from FIU and master's from Vanderbilt University, to investigate drug manufacturing in the U.S.

When much of the drug manufacturing industry moved overseas, Craig shifted roles at the FDA and began investigating clinical research, seeing new medical products go to market through FDA’s approval process. The methodology of ensuring medical products are both safe and effective caught Craig’s interest and he began pursuing his Ph.D. in Public Health with a specialization in epidemiology.

Working and studying full-time, Craig kept busy. His job expanded from inspecting Miami-based clinical trials to include clinical research around the world, in places such as India, Australia, and Japan. He also completed the half Ironman Hawaii and the full Ironman France.

Graduating with a 3.96 GPA, Craig’s doctoral dissertation brought accolades. As part of his role at the FDA, Craig earned an award from the FDA Commissioner for a study he conducted at Stempel College on research misconduct by clinical investigators. With two journal publications already under Craig’s belt, the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine journal is publishing his research letter on the effects of falsified data on meta-analysis, a key part of Craig’s dissertation.

Upon graduating, Craig will remain at the FDA in a new position as a dedicated foreign investigator. Craig and his husband, Robert, are also in the process of adopting children.

By Jessica S. Drouet  
Senior Account Manager, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work