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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Biography: Dr. Ruben Donis, Ph.D.

Acting Director
Division of Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 

Ruben Donis, Ph.D., is the acting Director of the Division of Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases of BARDA, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, within HHS. The Division is charged with the advanced development and procurement of medical and non-pharmaceutical countermeasures (MCM) to prepare and respond to pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases (EID). The Division uses an integrated portfolio approach to develop and acquire a broad array of medical countermeasures for pandemic influenza and EID.

Dr. Donis served previously as Deputy Director of the Influenza and Emerging Diseases Division of BARDA, overseeing the implementation of advanced MCM development programs for pandemic influenza including universal influenza vaccines, the expansion of domestic manufacturing infrastructure, and pre-pandemic vaccine stockpile strategy.
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Before joining BARDA, Dr. Donis served as Associate Director for Policy Evaluation and Preparedness and as Chief of the Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch, at the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2003. Dr. Donis contributed leadership in science policy and emergency responses for the Influenza Division and led a laboratory team that contributed to the discovery of canine influenza virus (2005), identification of broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies binding to the stem region of the influenza hemagglutinin and identified epitopes for universal influenza vaccines (2010) and immunotherapeutics, discovery of bat influenza virus –including two new HA and NA subtypes in bats (2012), development of novel influenza vaccine potency assays, and development of over 12 candidate vaccine viruses for pandemic preparedness purposes. This work was recognized by several awards, including two Charles C. Shepard Science Awards (2009 and 2013), Leveraging Collaboration Award (FDA, 2008) and Distinguished Service Award, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (2007).


Dr. Donis was professor of virology at the University of Nebraska, where he developed vaccine platform technologies, including Salmonella antigen delivery vectors, influenza and flavivirus reverse genetics systems, and RNA replicon delivery systems.

Dr. Donis received his PhD from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY, and conducted post-doctoral research training at Saint Jude Children’s Hospital, in Memphis, TN.

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  • This page last reviewed: September 01, 2017