Friday, January 20, 2012

New National Biodefense Science Board to Advise HHS

Seven experts from outside the federal government will join the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB), a federal advisory committee which provides expert advice and guidance on preventing, preparing for, and responding to adverse health effects of public health emergencies to the HHS Secretary and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The new members replace members whose 4-year terms expire Jan. 31.

The ASPR serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on bioterrorism and other public health emergencies and coordinates the federal public health and medical response to disasters.

“NBSB members bring a broad range of perspectives and experiences, and over the past four years, the board has helped us improve federal policies and practices in disaster preparedness and response,” said Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie. “I look forward to working with the new members as we forge ahead in helping communities across the country become more resilient to all hazards.”

The board was created under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 and chartered in May 2007. Since then, the board has provided recommendations on a variety of federal disaster preparedness and response issues. The issues include, the effectiveness of the National Disaster Medical System and federal management of the research and development medical countermeasures – the medicines, vaccines and equipment needed to protect health from bioterrorism and pandemic disease.

In addition, the board assessed the department’s progress in integrating behavioral health into emergency preparedness and response activities. HHS incorporated the NBSB recommendations in the first federal disaster behavioral health concept of operations which ASPR recently released. The board also has recommended ways to improve the nation’s ability to mobilize scientific resources quickly and comprehensively in support of public health emergency response.

By statute, the board has 13 voting members with a broad range of expertise in science, medicine, and public health. Additionally, there are non-voting members from federal and state government agencies as deemed appropriate by the Secretary.

The next meeting of the board and the first for new members will take place Feb. 2. Information about the meeting and the National Biodefense Science Board is available at

Incoming members are as follows:
John S. Parker, M.D., major general (retired) U.S. Army, senior vice president, Science Applications International Corporation, re-nominated to serve as NBSB chair
John S. Bradley, M.D., director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Rady Children’s Hospital
Nelson J. Chao, M.D., M.B.A., chief, Division of Cellular Therapy/Bone Marrow Transplantation, Duke University
Emilio A. Emini, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Vaccine Research, Pfizer, Inc.
Manohar R. Furtado, Ph.D., vice president, Research and Development, Life Technologies/Applied Biosystems
Steven E. Krug, M.D., head, Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Memorial Hospital
Sarah Y. Park, M.D., state epidemiologist and chief, Disease Outbreak Control Division, Hawaii Department of Health
The following members’ terms are expiring:
NBSB Chair Patricia Quinlisk, M.D., M.P.H., state epidemiologist and medical director, Iowa Department of Public Health
Ruth L. Berkelman, M.D., Rollins professor and director, Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
Stephen V. Cantrill, M.D., BNICE Training Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center
John D. Grabenstein, R.Ph., Ph.D., senior medical director, Adult Vaccines, Merck Vaccine Division
Thomas J. MacVittie, Ph.D., professor, Departments of Radiation Oncology and Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
John S. Parker, M.D., major general (retired), senior vice president, Scientific Applications International Corporation – re-nominated to serve as NBSB chair
Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and chief, Biotechnology, Officer XOMA, Ltd.
The following members are continuing with the NBSB:
Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association
Jane Delgado, Ph.D., M.S., president and chief executive officer, National Alliance for Hispanic Health
David Ecker, Ph.D., divisional vice president and site general manager, Ibis Biosciences
Daniel Fagbuyi, M.D., medical director, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Children’s National Medical Center
Kevin Jarrell, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Modular Genetics, Inc.
Betty Pfefferbaum, J.D., M.D., professor and chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Sciences Center

Source: HHS News Release

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