Peter Thiel playing key role in vetting health, science candidates for Trump administration

Peter Thiel — Silicon Valley mogul, entrepreneur, former hedge fund manager and technology advisor to President-elect Donald Trump — has become deeply engrained in the vetting process for candidates vying for health and science posts in the Trump administration, STAT reports.

Mr. Thiel has already helped advance Jim O'Neil, managing director at Silicon Valley late-stage venture firm Mithril Capital Management — headed by Mr. Thiel — to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Mr. Thiel has also been discussing potential appointments with other individuals in a variety of health and science roles. STAT reports he spoke with Elias Zerhouni, a former director of the National Institutes of Health and president of global research and development at drugmaker Sanofi, about a key science job in the White House.

He has also spoken to organizations that are promoting possible candidates, including FasterCures, Research!America and the Coalition for Life Sciences, according to the report.

"He's got pretty broad influence," said one individual close to the transition team, who chose to remain anonymous, according to the report. The individual added that Mr. Thiel is primarily focused on positions in the FDA, NIH, HHS and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Neither representatives for Mr. Thiel nor members of Mr. Trump's transition team responded to request for comment, STAT reported. 

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