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Alla Shapiro, MD, PhD

Alla Shapiro, MD, PhD
Medical Officer, Office of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Coordination, US Food and Drug Administration


Alla Shapiro, MD, PhD is a retired Medical Officer at the Office of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Coordination at the US Food and Drug Administration. She worked in the area of facilitating the development and availability of medical countermeasures against radiation exposure by providing early advice to drug developers. Dr. Shapiro reviewed applications submitted by pharmaceuticals companies, private investigators and representatives from academia on the development of safe and effective drugs against radiological and nuclear threats.

Alla’s background is in pediatric hematology and oncology. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC. She completed her Clinical Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Shapiro served as the Medical Office in the Office of Counter Terrorism and Emergency in the FDA from 2003 until September of 2019, when she retired.  She also served as the Medical Officer in the Division of Oncology Drug Products (DODP) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), FDA from 2000 until 2003. 

Additional Activities:

 Dr. Shapiro was interviewed by Vanity Fair subject matter expert for the video “Doctor Fact Checks the HBO Chernobyl Series” that was recorded in September 2019 in New York. The interview is presented on a Vanity Fair YouTube channel launched by Condé Nast Entertainment.

My memoir, “Doctor on Call: Chernobyl Responder, Jewish Refugee, Radiation Expert,” published by Mandel Vilar Press, in April, 2021 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. The book can be purchased at at, Independent Booksellers at or at


Challenges in Preparing for and Responding to a Nuclear Disaster

February 28, 2023

1:00 - 2:00pm 

Session Description

This presentation will include the talking points listed below: 

1.   Types of radiation emergencies

2.  Steps for preparedness for a potential nuclear event

3.  Basic knowledge for identifying some of the injuries related to a particular radiation accident

4.  First steps in responding to a radiation injury. Chernobyl failures.

5.  Importance of communication and transparency during the disaster.

6.  Attention to special populations

7.  Awareness of Medical Countermeasures (MCM) stockpile and dispensing of required medication

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