Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Evaluation of the Updated Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

Primary Board:

Study Director:

Dr. Gregory B. Baecher - (Chair)
University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Gregory B. Baecher is the Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering at the University of Maryland. His research interests focus on the reliability of civil infrastructure and risks posed by natural hazards, and the response of infrastructure to those hazards. In recent years, his research has dealt with dam safety and with the response of levee systems to flooding, including actuarial issues related to flood and other natural hazard insurance. He has also worked on quantitative methods in facilities management, especially federally-owned facilities, and on information technology applications to facilities management. Dr. Baecher was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 for his work in the development, explication, and implementation of probabilistic- and reliability-based approaches to geotechnical and water-resources engineering. He is a recipient of the Commander's Award for Public Service from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and recipient of the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award and State-of-the-Art Award both from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is co-author of publications on Reliability and Statistics in Geotechnical Engineering (2003), Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety (2004), and Protection of Civil Infrastructure from Acts of Terrorism (2006). Dr. Baecher received his Ph.D. (1972) and Sc.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.S.C.E. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Brendan McCluskey
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Mr. Brendan McCluskey was appointed the Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in 2006, and directs security for the university's Biosafety Level 3 laboratories. He had previously held positions as Deputy Director of the Center for BioDefense (2001-2004) and as Acting Director of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Center for Training and Research (2004-2006) at the university. He has served as a member of the Governor's Task Force on Campus Safety (New Jersey) since 2007. Mr. McCluskey is a Certified Emergency Manager and serves as Chair of the Universities and Colleges Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers. He was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UMDNJ in 2002, where he teaches courses on bioterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and homeland security. Until 2009, Mr. McCluskey was also an Assistant Professor at Kean University, where he taught courses in public administration, bioterrorism, and public health policy. Mr. McCluskey received his J.D. (2006) from Rutgers University School of Law, and his B.A. (1997) and M.P.A. (2001) from Kean University.

Mr. Lee H. Thompson
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Mr. Lee H. Thompson is the director of institutional biocontainment resources and an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). As the director of the institutional biocontainment at UTMB, he oversees the physical operations of the BSL-3 and -4 facilities, develops policies and procedures relevant to safety for the BSL-3 and -4 facilities, and provides guidance on facility construction and renovation projects. He has also monitored the construction and commissioning activities for the BSL-4 facility at UTMB. Prior to his appointment at UTMB, he was invited by the Canadian Minister of Health to serve as the Chief of Safety and Environmental Services for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg. In that role, he provided advice on construction and commissioning of the BSL-3, BSL-3Ag, and BSL-4 facilities, and developed the standard operating procedures for activation, operation and maintenance, safety, and training. Lee has served also as an invited design and biosafety consultant for a number of BSL-4 laboratories including those at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Ft. Detrick, Maryland, and at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he was microbiologist and safety director in the arthropod-borne animal disease research laboratory with the Agricultural Research Service where he conducted research on insect-transmitted virus diseases of ruminants and was responsible for biological safety, facility design, operation, and security in containment. Mr. Thompson received his B.S. (1982) in microbiology from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Richard E. Breitmeyer
University of California, Davis

Dr. Richard E. Breitmeyer was appointed Director for the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System in November 2010. Operating under the administration of the University of California at Davis's School of Veterinary Medicine, this Laboratory System is the backbone of California's animal disease surveillance and detection system and is used to safeguard human and animal health from naturally occurring or intentionally introduced animal diseases by rapidly and reliably diagnosing diseases found in animals. Prior to joining UC Davis, Dr. Breitmeyer completed a 26-year career with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), serving as California's State Veterinarian from 1993 to 2010. As State Veterinarian, he had the statutory authority to quarantine domestic animals or food in order to protect the health and safety of animals and the public. From 1993 to 2004, Dr. Breitmeyer also served as the Director of Animal Health and Food Safety Services and oversaw an annual budget of $30 million and 250 employees engaged in programs for animal health, milk and dairy foods control, meat and poultry inspection and livestock identification. Prior to joining CDFA, he was a private practitioner in Humboldt and San Luis Obispo counties. Dr. Breitmeyer is an active member of many state and national organizations and is the Immediate Past President of the United States Animal Health Association. He also served for 10 years on the USDA's Secretary Advisory Committee for Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases. Dr. Breitmeyer received his D.V.M. (1980) and M.P.V.M. (1988) degrees from UC Davis, and he conducted his undergraduate studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Thomas W. Armstrong
TWA8HR Occupational Hygiene Consulting, LLC

Dr. Thomas W. Armstrong retired in 2008 from his position as senior scientific associate in the Exposure Sciences Group of ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc., where he had worked since 1989. Dr. Armstrong also worked with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as the lead investigator on exposure assessment for epidemiological investigations of potentially benzene-related or other occupational exposure-related hematopoietic diseases in Shanghai, China. Dr. Armstrong spent 9 years working for the Linde Group as the manager of loss control in the gases division and as a manager of safety and industrial hygiene. He conducted research on quantitative risk-assessment models for inhalation exposure to Legionella and remains professionally active on that topic. He has recently contributed to publications on mathematical models to estimate exposures to hazardous materials and methods of exposure reconstruction. He was a member of the Society for Risk Analysis and remains an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene has certified him as an Industrial Hygienist. Dr. Armstrong received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering and M.S. in environmental health both from Drexel University.

Dr. Mark C. Thurmond
University of California, Davis

Dr. Mark C. Thurmond is professor emeritus of veterinary epidemiology in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He remains involved part time as the Co-Director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance and Co-Director of the FMD Laboratory, where he continues to pursue his research interests in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, particularly related to foot-and-mouth disease. His interests during the past 38 years of professional teaching, research, and service have included clinical medicine and clinical epidemiology, primarily related to infectious diseases of livestock, new methodologies for diagnostic epidemiology, and modeling and developing disease control and surveillance systems. Dr. Thurmond received his Ph.D. (1982) in dairy science epidemiology from the University of Florida, and his D.V.M. (1972) and M.P.V.M. (1975) from UC Davis.

Dr. Corrie Brown
University of Georgia

Dr. Corrie C. Brown is the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Her research interests include pathogenesis of infectious disease in food-producing animals through the use of immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. She is active in the fields of emerging diseases and international veterinary medicine and currently serves as Coordinator of International Activities for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining University of Georgia in 1996, she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plum Island Foreign Animal Disease Center for 10 years, conducting pathogenesis studies on many of the foreign animal diseases. Her bench research interests at University of Georgia have been focused on poultry diseases, and she works closely with the USDA facility in Athens that is dedicated to foreign diseases of poultry. In educational research, she has several grants to help promote national animal health infrastructure in developing nations. Dr. Brown is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She has published or presented more than 250 scientific papers and has testified to Congress on issues involving agroterrorism. Dr. Brown has served on many industrial and federal panels, and been a technical consultant to numerous foreign governments on issues involving infectious diseases and animal health infrastructure. Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. in veterinary pathology with a specialization in infectious diseases from the University of California at Davis, and her D.V.M. from the University of Guelph.

Dr. Mark T. Hernandez
University of Colorado at Boulder

Dr. Mark T. Hernandez is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests lie at the cusp of molecular biology and civil engineering, focusing on the characterization and control of biological air pollution, both natural and anthropogenic. Recent work has focused on engineering disinfection systems for airborne bacteria and viruses and on tracking bioaerosols through natural weather patterns and catastrophic events (such as Hurricane Katrina). He is a registered professional civil engineer and an active technical consultant in the commercial waste-treatment and industrial hygiene sectors. Dr. Hernandez serves as an editor of Aerosol Science and Technology and is the director of the Colorado Diversity Initiative. Dr. Hernandez received his Ph.D. (1992) and M.S. (1988) in environmental engineering and his B.S. (1986) in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Philip Paarlberg
Purdue University

Dr. Philip L. Paarlberg is a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. His research interests include the economic impacts of livestock disease outbreaks, and he is co-author of several articles related to the potential revenue and welfare impacts of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United States. His teaching responsibilities cover agricultural policy and international trade. He has had extensive experience in the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) from 1977-1985 where he analyzed international trade policy issues. In 1991-1992, Dr. Paarlberg was a visiting professor at the University of Goettingen. His awards include a USDA Superior Service Award, an award for superior research by ERS, an American Agricultural Economics Association award for his Ph.D. thesis, and outstanding journal article for 2003 by the Southern Agricultural Economics Association. Dr. Paarlberg received his Ph.D. (1983) and M.S. (1977) degrees in agricultural economics and B.A. (1975) in history from Purdue University.

Dr. Timothy C. Reluga
Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Timothy C. Reluga is an assistant professor of mathematics and biology at Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the description, understanding, and prediction of the dynamics of biological systems. His core research interest is in population biology, but his work also encompasses topics in evolutionary biology, immunology, epidemiology, and computer science. His most recent work has focused on incorporating social and behavioral factors into theories of infectious disease dynamics and management, and on using mathematical models to predict the biological and ecological transmission process of disease. He served on the NRC committee to review the health and safety risks of high biocontainment laboratories at Fort Detrick. Dr. Reluga received his Ph.D. (2004) in applied mathematics from the University of Washington and his B.S. (1998) in biology and mathematics from Tufts University.

Dr. Ahsan Kareem
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Ahsan Kareem is the Robert M. Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences and the director of the NatHaz Modeling Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. His research uses computer models and laboratory and full-scale experiments to study the dynamic effects of environmental loads under winds, waves, and earthquakes in order to understand and predict the impact of natural hazards on the constructed environment, and to develop mitigation strategies that enhance the performance and safety of structures. He is a former president of the American Association for Wind Engineering, and past editor-in-chief for the international journal Wind and Structures. Dr. Kareem is the recipient of the Alan G. Davenport Medal presented by the International Association for Wind Engineering in recognition of his distinguished achievement in the dynamic wind effects on structures, the Robert H. Scanlan Medal for outstanding contributions to the study of aeroelasticity/aerodynamics and wind-load effects on structural design, and the Jack E. Cermak Medal in recognition for his contributions to wind effects on structures from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Kareem was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009 for his contributions in analyses and designs to account for wind effects on tall buildings, long-span bridges, and other structures. In 2010, he was elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and elected as a distinguished Member of ASCE for his knowledge and eminence in the field of wind engineering, structural engineering, engineering mechanics, for his profound contributions to the ASCE Wind Loads Standards, and for his development of web-based technologies and design tools for practice. Dr. Kareem received his Ph.D. (1978) in civil engineering from Colorado State University, M.Sc. (1975) in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii, and B.Sc. (1968) in civil engineering from West Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology.

Dr. Patrick M. Webb
National Pork Board

Dr. Patrick M. Webb is the director of swine health programs at the National Pork Board, where he joined in 2005. He is responsible for the Pork Check-off efforts in animal identification and domestic and foreign animal disease surveillance and response. He is a veterinarian that most recently worked as a private consultant, and has extensive experience in emergency preparedness and response planning. Dr. Webb recently worked with USDA-APHIS on developing a facilities manual for highly contagious animal diseases for the dairy industry. Other projects include collaborating on the development of a hazard specific plan for food security for the state of South Carolina, producer biosecurity programs and county and local agro-terrorism training for state emergency responders. Dr. Webb previously worked with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as foreign animal disease program coordinator, where he developed the department's emergency preparedness plan for animal disease disasters. The program included creating the procedures that state agencies would follow in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Iowa or in the United States. The plan was subsequently used as a model for other animal diseases. Dr. Webb has worked extensively with producers as a practicing veterinarian and as a trainer on response to animal disease outbreaks. He has participated in programs directed at training veterinarians, county emergency managers and first responders on how to respond to infectious animal disease disasters. Dr. Webb received both his D.V.M. and B.S. in animal science degrees from Iowa State University.

Dr. Akula Venkatram
University of California, Riverside

Dr. Akula Venkatram is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Riverside, where he has been since 1993. Dr. Venkatram's research interests include the comprehensive modeling of systems governing air quality, theoretical aspects of small-scale dispersion, the application of micrometeorology to dispersion problems, and the development of simplified models for complex systems. His research group has conducted several field studies to collect data to develop dispersion models applicable to urban areas. Dr. Venkatram has led the development of comprehensive long-range transport models, including the Acid Deposition and Oxidant Model (ADOM), the Visibility and Haze in the Western Atmosphere (VISHWA) model, and the Simplified Ozone Modelling System (SOMS). Dr. Venkatram was a member of the committee that developed the AMS/EPA Regulatory Model (AERMOD), which has replaced ISC as the U.S. EPA's regulatory model. He now serves on an EPA committee that is charged with overseeing the improvement of AERMOD. Dr. Venkatram served on the Advisory Council of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (1993-1997), and was a member of the Risk Assessment Advisory Committee of the California EPA. He is currently the Chair of the Airport Modeling Advisory Committee appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Dr. Venkatram is a former vice president of air sciences at ENSR Consulting and Engineering. He served as a research scientist at the Atmospheric Environment Service, Canada, for a year before joining the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Toronto. Dr. Venkatram received his Ph.D. (1976) in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and his B.S. (1971) in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India.

Dr. Joseph V. Rodricks

Dr. Joseph V. Rodricks is a founding Principal of ENVIRON and is a Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of toxicology and risk analysis. Since 1980, Dr. Rodricks has consulted for hundreds of manufacturers, government agencies, and the World Health Organization in the evaluation of health risks associated with human exposure to chemical substances. His experience includes chemical products and contaminants in foods, food ingredients, air, water, hazardous wastes, the workplace, consumer products, medical devices, and pharmaceutical products. Dr. Rodricks was formerly Deputy Associate Commissioner, Health Affairs, and Toxicologist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1965-1980). He has served on 25 Boards and Committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, including the committees that produced the seminal works Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process (1983) and Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment (2009). He has more than 200 publications on toxicology and risk analysis, and is the author of Calculated Risks (Cambridge University Press), a nontechnical introduction to toxicology and risk analysis that is now available in fully-revised and updated second edition, for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association. Dr. Rodricks received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, M.S. in organic chemistry from the University of Maryland, and B.S. in chemistry from MIT.

Dr. Stephen M. Ostroff
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Dr. Stephen M. Ostroff is the acting Physician General for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In this role, he partners with public health professionals on matters related to Health Department programs and executive branch agencies, as well as reviews standards and practices of medicine within the jurisdiction of the Health Department. Dr. Ostroff acts as the primary adviser on medical issues to both the Secretary of Health and the Governor, represents the Department before the General Assembly, press, medical professionals, and community and citizens groups. In addition to functioning as the acting Physician General, he has been the Director of the Bureau of Epidemiology since 2007. Prior to his retirement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Ostroff was the Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases from 2002-2005 where he coordinated activities related to outbreak investigations, antimicrobial resistance, and bioterrorism. From 2001-2003, he served as acting director of CDC's Select Agent program, and from 2001-2005, he served as President of the Department of Defense's Armed Forces Epidemiology Board. Dr. Ostroff is also the immediate Past President of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and serves on CDC's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. During his career, he has authored over 80 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters on emerging infectious diseases, and has testified before Congress on a number of occasions. Dr. Ostroff received his M.D. (1981) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (1984) and preventive medicine at the CDC (1988).

Dr. James A. Roth
Iowa State University

Dr. James A. Roth is the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine of the College of Veterinary Medicine of Iowa State University. He is the director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, and is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology of the College of Public Health of the University of Iowa. Dr. Roth's research interests are in evaluating cell-mediated immunity to bovine and porcine infectious agents and vaccines, and in developing a recombinant vaccine for Nipah virus. He has testified before Congress on biosecurity preparedness and efforts to address bioterrorism. Dr. Roth serves on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and served on the Interagency Weapons of Mass Destruction Counter Measures Working Group and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Agroterrorism Counter Measures Blue Ribbon Panel. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Dr. Roth received his Ph.D. (1981) and M.S. (1979) in veterinary microbiology, and his D.V.M. (1975) from Iowa State University.