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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Colonel (Ret.) D. Gray Heppner, MD, FACP, FASTMH, FRGS

National Preparedness and Response Science Board Member

Dr. Heppner, a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, is Chief Medical Officer of BioProtection Systems/New Link Genetics Corp. of Ames, IA responsible for clinical development of their vaccine portfolio.  Dr. Heppner, a retired military physician, is a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist experienced in the research and development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for infectious diseases.

From 2012-2015, he was Senior Scientist in the Medical Division at TASC Inc. supporting the  Joint Science and Technology Office of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.  From 2011-2012, he was Vice President for Clinical Development at Crucell Inc., in Rockville, MD responsible for tuberculosis, ebola, and malaria vaccines.  From 2008-2011, he was Deputy Commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the Defense Department's largest biomedical institute with sites in Africa, Asia and Europe, developing medical
Photograph of Colonel (Ret.) D. Gray Heppner, MD, FACP, FASTMH, FRGS
countermeasures to infectious diseases of military and public health importance. From 1999-2008, he was Director of the Division of Malaria Vaccine Development at WRAIR, developing novel vaccines (RTS,S/AS01; MSP1; AMA1; LSA1; Ad35CS; SPf66, attenuated parasites, etc.) against falciparum malaria. Dr. Heppner has conducted preclinical, Phase 1 and 2 trials of vaccines under US FDA Investigational New Drug applications in Southeast Asia, East and West Africa, and the USA.


Dr. Heppner has authored or co-authored 110 peer-reviewed science publications and book chapters.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Scientific Advisor to the Sergeant Sullivan Center.  His awards include the US Army Legion of Merit and the Kiwanis International Foundation’s World Service Medal.  He is an elected fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Royal Geographical Society.  He earned his medical degree at the University of Virginia, and afterwards completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the Center for Vaccine Development of the University of Maryland.

National Preparedness and Response Science Board

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  • This page last reviewed: January 27, 2015