Burr Praises Creation of National Biodefense Science Board

Panel was authorized in Burr’s bioterrorism legislation

U.S. Senator Richard Burr today praised the formation of the National Biodefense Science Board, which will advise the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on trends, challenges, and opportunities presented by advances in biological and life sciences, including naturally occurring infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents. The board was authorized by Burr's Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (P.L. 109-417), which was signed into law in December of last year.

"The creation of this board is a critical step forward in preparing the country for future threats to public health, such as bioterror agents or evolving flu viruses," Burr said. "This group will play a central role in ensuring our government identifies new and emerging threats as well as opportunities for innovation to prevent, prepare, and respond to those threats. By seeking advice and guidance from the best scientists and engineers in the country, the federal government is taking the lead in keeping Americans safe."

The board consists of thirteen members who will be appointed by the Secretary. By law, four members must come from academic institutions, four must have a background in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or device industries, one must represent health care consumers, and one must be a practicing health care professional. The remaining three members are appointed by the Secretary at his discretion.