HHS names chief for biodefense research agency

Apr 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Robin Robinson, PhD, who led the development of the first H5N1 influenza vaccine approved for human use, has been named the first director of the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA).

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Robinson's appointment this week.

"Robin was the strongest candidate to emerge in our nationwide search, and his extensive experience in industry and government concretely demonstrates his ability to succeed," said Rear Adm. Craig Vanderwagen, MD, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, in a news release.

In his current role as deputy director of BARDA's Influenza and Emerging Disease Program, Robinson led the development, procurement, and stockpiling of the H5N1 vaccine, the HHS statement said. The vaccine, made by Sanofi Pasteur, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April 2007.

BARDA, established in 2007, manages Project BioShield, which handles the procurement and advanced development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. The agency also manages the advanced development of countermeasures for pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases that fall outside Project BioShield, HHS said.

See also:

Apr 14 HHS news release

Dec 15, 2006, CIDRAP News story "Congress passes public health preparedness bill"

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