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HHS Secretary Leavitt Announces Members of the National Biodefense Science Board
Date:12/17/2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the members of the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB). The NBSB will provide expert advice and guidance to the Secretary on scientific, technical and other matters of special interest to the department regarding activities to prevent, prepare for and respond to adverse health effects of public health emergencies resulting from current and future chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological agents.

"This board will play an important role in ensuring that our nation is well-prepared to prevent and respond to public health emergencies," Secretary Leavitt said. "The members' depth of expertise will be invaluable as we continue to prepare."

Authorized by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, the board is holding its first meeting today and tomorrow in Washington. Members of the National Biodefense Science Board are:

Patricia Quinlisk, M.D., M.P.H., Chair

Dr. Quinlisk is the medical director and state epidemiologist for the Iowa Department of Public Health. She trained as an epidemic intelligence service officer at HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has served on national policymaking committees and boards dealing with issues of infectious disease epidemiology, biologic emergencies, terrorism-related issues and public health response. Dr. Quinlisk is a policy advisor to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and its lead consultant on bioterrorism. She is recognized for her extensive experience in public health and terrorism-related issues, scientific leadership, and national prominence in the public health arena.

Ruth L. Berkelman, M.D.

Dr. Berkelman is Rollins Professor and Director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research at Emory University in Atlanta. Her research is focused on emerging infectious diseases, domestic and global disease surveillance and preparedness. She has previously served in the U.S Public Health Service as an assistant surgeon general in positions that included senior advisor to the director of the CDC and deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

Stephen V. Cantrill, M.D.

Dr. Cantrill serves as the project director and principal investigator of the Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical and Explosives (BNICE) Colorado Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Training Center at Denver Health Medical Center. He is an associate professor in the division of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has lectured nationally and internationally on topics including weapons of mass destruction, disasters and disaster management and has been involved in disaster education for more than two decades. Dr. Cantrill is board certified in the practice of emergency medicine.

Roberta Carlin, M.S., J.D.

Ms. Carlin is executive director of the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD). She has been involved in the disability field for nearly 25 years, working in the areas of primary prevention, health promotion and wellness for people with disabilities, government relations, grassroots advocacy and expanding partnerships and collaborative opportunities in the disability field.

Albert J. Di Rienzo

Mr. Di Rienzo is senior vice president and chief science and technology officer for Welch Allyn. Mr. Di Rienzo leads the company's worldwide research and innovation activities, oversees next generation science and technology investigations, and is responsible for growing product development globally. For the past 23 years, his research and development appointments at Welch Allyn, Philips Medical Systems, Siemens Medical Systems, Honeywell/Sperry Aerospace, and General Dynamics Land System have contributed to the advancement of commercial, military, and medical applications.

Kenneth L. Dretchen, Ph.D.

Dr. Dretchen currently serves as professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and is director of Georgetown University's Biosecurity Institute. He is a consultant to Department of Homeland Security. For more than 20 years, Dr. Dretchen focused on pharmacological defense from threats by biological or chemical agents. He has evaluated long-term, low-level exposure to nerve agents for possible association with Gulf War syndrome and evaluated several antidotes to nerve agents. He was a member of the team that developed the antidote kit now carried by the United States armed forces. His current research focuses on developing a stand-alone detection system for airborne biological or chemical agents.

John D. Grabenstein, R.Ph., Ph.D.

Dr. Grabenstein leads scientific programs for the Merck & Co Inc. vaccine enterprise, including new product planning, adult immunization programs, and scientific outreach. Previously, as a colonel in the U.S. Army, he directed the Military Vaccine Agency at the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office, supporting over nine million troops, retirees, and their family members dispersed on four continents and dozens of ships at sea. He is the principal author of "Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery," a CDC-recognized 20-hour curriculum coordinated by American Pharmacists Association.

James J. James, Brigadier General (Retired), M.D., Dr.PH., M.H.A.

Dr. James is director of the American Medical Association (AMA) Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response, and editor-in-chief of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, an official publication of the AMA. James served 26 years with the U.S. Army Medical Department in several capacities including as commanding general of William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. Upon retirement in 1997, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the military's highest peacetime honor.

Thomas J. MacVittie, Ph.D.

Since 1995, Dr. MacVittie has been a professor of radiation oncology and pathology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He has more than 30 years of experience as a radiobiologist in the field of experimental hematology and has published 139 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 43 book chapters or proceedings. He is recognized internationally as an expert on the effects of radiation on the hematopoietic and gastrointestinal systems in large animal models and their treatment, in vivo, with hematopoietic growth factors. He is director of a National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored consortium focused on medical countermeasures against radiological threats.

John S. Parker, M.D., Major General (Retired)

Dr. Parker is senior vice president, corporate development, at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He is chief scientist for the Biological Threat Reduction Support Group and a member of the SAIC Homeland Security Strategic Coordinating Committee. Prior to SAIC, he was commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md., responsible for medical research, product development, technology assessment and rapid prototyping, medical logistics management and health facility planning, and medical information management and technology. He has served as special assistant secretary of defense for medical, chemical and biological defense, and was deputy for medical systems, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Logistics and Technology.

Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.

Dr. Pavia is the George and Esther Gross Professor and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and Primary Children's Hospital. His research has focused on HIV and AIDS in the United States and in resource poor settings, influenza, vaccine preventable diseases, emerging infections and food borne diseases. He is the chair of the National and Global Public Health Committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America and has been a consultant to the Utah Department of Health and a member of the Governor's Task Force for Pandemic Influenza. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a section editor for Current Infectious Disease Report, and a reviewer for numerous journals.

Eric A. Rose, M.D.

Dr. Rose is executive vice president for life sciences at MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and CEO of Siga Technologies, Inc. He is currently on leave as professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He pioneered heart transplantation in children, performing the first successful pediatric heart transplant and has investigated alternatives to heart transplantation, including cross-species transplantation and man-made heart pumps.

Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Scannon is executive vice president and chief biotechnology officer of Xoma, Ltd. His research interests include therapeutic approaches to infectious diseases, immunology and oncology using monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins, as well as rapid response technologies for biodefense medical countermeasures. Dr. Scannon holds, or has held, consulting positions with the Biodefense Network Assessment (Department of Homeland Security); the Defense Science Research Council; NASA Mars Recovery Program; and the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (Department of Defense) among others. He is the author of 49 scientific articles and currently holds 21 U.S. patents.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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