Public Health Advisory Board Established to Advise HHS Secretary on Chemical, Biological, Radiological Agents

June 19, 2007 - HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the establishment of a public health advisory panel concerned with chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological agents. The National Biodefense Science Board will give the Secretary guidance on preventing, preparing for, and responding to release of such agents, whether they are naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate.

The board, which was authorized by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, will advise the Secretary about trends, challenges and opportunities in the field. At the Secretary’s request, it will also provide recommendations for research and development.

"Planning responses to incidents involving chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological agents requires state of the art science," Secretary Leavitt said. "This new advisory board will add a wide range of expertise and viewpoints from outside of government to help inform HHS decision-making processes."

Board members are yet to be selected. There will be 13 members, appointed by the Secretary, from among leading experts in science, public health and medicine. Four will be from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries. Four will be from academic institutions. Of the remaining five, one must be from an organization representing health care consumers and one must be a practicing health care professional.  The Secretary also will appoint federal officials to support the board’s functions.

To submit a resume or curriculum vitae for consideration to be a board member, email nbsbnominations@hhs.gov. For further information, contact Dr. Susan Cibulsky at (202) 260-7000 or email nbsbquestions@hhs.gov. The board’s charter, and additional information, can be found online at http://www.hhs.gov/aspr/omsph/nbsb.

Contact: HHS Press Office(202) 690-6343