News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Syra Madad Named to National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

| Feb. 17, 2022

Belfer Center Fellow Syra Madad, an internationally  recognized leader and epidemiologist in public health and special pathogens preparedness and response, has been named to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). The NSABB is a federal advisory committee that addresses issues related to biosecurity and dual use research at the request of the U.S. government. The board has 25 voting members selected for their expertise in areas that range from biosecurity, molecular biology, and animal and plant health to infectious diseases, biodefense, law enforcement, scientific publishing, and other related fields.

In addition to serving as a Fellow with the Belfer Center, Dr. Madad is Senior Director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals and Co-Principal Investigator of NYC Health + Hospitals Institute for Diseases and Disaster Management. In addition, she serves on the faculty of Boston University’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research and is Core Faculty in the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), funded by Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Her work focuses on prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery related to infectious disease outbreaks.

Among her many other activities, Madad has published through the Belfer Center a number of factsheets and papers with specific COVID-related prevention and safety tips and has hosted a series of events around COVID prevention as well as STEM issues.

The NSABB’s charge is to advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The members will perform the following activities:

  • Provide recommendations on the development of programs for outreach, education, and training in dual use research issues for scientists, laboratory workers, students, and trainees in relevant disciplines.
  • Advise on policies governing publication, public communication, and dissemination of dual use research methodologies and results.
  • Recommend strategies for fostering international engagement on dual use biological research issues.
  • Advise on policies regarding the conduct, communication, and oversight of dual use research and research results, as requested.
  • Advise on the Federal Select Agent Program, as requested.
  • Address any other issues as directed by the Secretary, HHS.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the NSABB and look forward to advancing national biosecurity policies and addressing key public health issues,” Madad said.  “We live in the age of tremendous scientific advancement and innovation. Ensuring there are safeguards in place for biological research while promoting progress is essential,” she added.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Syra Madad Named to National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, February 17, 2022.