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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


HHS News U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

New National Biodefense Science Board Members will Advise HHS
Federal advisory committee provides insight for disaster preparedness, response and recovery

January 3, 2011:  Six 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 Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The new members replace members whose 3-year terms expire Dec. 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.

“I want to thank everyone who has served on the NBSB over the past three years. Their broad range of perspectives and experiences have proved invaluable in helping us shape federal policies and practices in disaster preparedness and response,” said ASPR Nicole Lurie. “I am excited to work with the new members and look forward to their advice 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 in 2006 and chartered in May 2007.  Since then, the board has provided recommendations such issues as whether the federal government should encourage stockpiling antibiotics at home for use after a bioterrorism attack and how the department can help protect, preserve, and restore individual and community mental health after a disaster.

In addition, the board has provided recommendations on ways to improve the management of the research and development of medicines, vaccines and equipment for pandemic diseases. The board’s recommendations were included in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise Review, released by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in August.

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.
Because the board is a federal advisory committee, board meetings are open to the public. The next meeting of the board and the first for new members takes place April 28-29.

Learn more about the National Biodefense Science Board, at Read the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise Review at

National Biodefense Science Board

Incoming members

  • Georges Benjamin, M.D., Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Jane Delgado, Ph.D., M.S., President and CEO, the 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., CEO Modular Genetics, Inc.
  • Betty Pfefferbaum, J.D., M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Sciences Center

Members whose terms are expiring

  • Roberta Carlin, M.S., J.D., Executive Director, American Association on Health and Disability
  • Albert Di Rienzo, President and CEO, Blue Highway, LLC (a Welch Allyn Company)
  • Kenneth L. Dretchen, Ph.D., Director, Georgetown University Biosecurity Institute
  • James J. James, M.D., Dr.PH, M.H.A., Director, Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response, American Medical Association
  • Andrew T. Pavia, M.D., George and Esther Gross Presidential Professor, Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Utah
  • Eric Rose, M.D., CEO and Chairman, Board of Directors, SIGA Technologies, Inc.

Continuing members

  • 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
  • Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief, Biotechnology, Officer XOMA, Ltd.

Public Health News

  • This page last reviewed: January 03, 2011