Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Science Needs for Microbial Forensics: Developing an Initial International Roadmap

Primary Board:

Study Director:

Dr. John D. Clements - (Chair)
Tulane University

Dr. John Clements is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine. After receiving his doctorate in 1979 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Dr. Clements completed a National Research Council Associateship at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC. In 1980, Dr. Clements was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, NY. In 1982, Dr. Clements joined the faculty at Tulane University. Dr. Clements has served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology since 1999. Dr. Clements served as Vice Dean for Research from 2006 to 2009 and in 2009 was appointed as Director of the Tulane Center for Infectious Diseases. Dr. Clements? is currently Director of the Tulane/Xavier Vaccine Development/Engineering Project supported by the Department of Defense, Co-Director of the South Louisiana Institute for Infectious Disease Research, and Co-Director of the Louisiana Vaccine Center, both collaborative projects between Tulane University and Louisiana State University Health sciences Center in New Orleans. Research in Dr. Clements?s laboratory has resulted in more than 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, and thirteen issued patents. Dr. Clements currently serves on the Defense Health Board and the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Western Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense Research and the PATH Enteric Vaccine initiative. In 2002, Dr. Clements chaired the committee to review all Military Infectious Disease Research Programs for the Department of Defense. In 2003, and again in 2004, Dr. Clements served as a member of the Iraq Survey Group in Baghdad as a Subject Matter Expert in weapons of mass destruction and dual use equipment and programs. Dr. Clements is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and served on active duty from 1966-1972. He was Honorably Discharged at the rank of LTCOL from the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1991.

Dr. Geoffrey Smith
Imperial College London

Dr. Geoffrey Smith is a British virologist and medical research authority in the area of Vaccinia virus and the family of Poxviruses. He is Head of the Department of Virology at Imperial College London. Smith completed his bachelors degree at the University of Leeds in 1977 and in 1981 gained a Ph.D. in Virology whilst in London. Between 1981?1984, while he was working in the United States under the National Institutes of Health, Smith developed and pioneered the use of genetically engineered live vaccines. Between 1985?1989 he lectured at the University of Cambridge. Prior to 2002, he was based at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at the University of Oxford. Between 1988?1992 his work was funded by the Jenner Fellowship from The Lister Institute; he became a governor of the Institute in 2003. In 1992 the Society for General Microbiology awarded Smith their Fleming Award for outstanding work by a young microbiologist. In 2002, Smith was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2003, he was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2005 was awarded the Feldburg Foundation Prize for his work on poxviruses. Smith was editor-in-chief of the Journal of General Virology up until 2008 and chairs the WHO's Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research. As of 2009 he remains the Head of the Department of Virology at Imperial College London and is president-elect of the International Union of Microbiological Societies.

Dr. Munirul Alam
International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Dr. Munirul Alam is a Senior Scientist at the International Center for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). Dr. Alam joined ICDDR,B, on leave from Dhaka University, as a Consultant Microbiologist in 2003. Dr. Munirul Alam is a distinguished scholar and an educator who has been widely recognized as an active researcher in the field of Microbial Pathogenesis, Epidemiology and Ecology, especially of the cholera and other related enteric bacteria. He holds Bachelor of Science (Honors in Botany) and Master of Science (Thesis in Microbiology) degrees with distinction from University of Dhaka. Dr. Alam obtained his PhD degree in Microbiology in 1996 from Okayama University, Japan and held the positions of Assistant Professor followed by Associate Professor at the Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka. Dr. Alam has gained wide research experiences in Microbiology and Molecular Biology by serving as a Post-Doctoral research fellow for different terms in countries including the USA, Japan, and Germany. Dr. Alam has actively participated about 50 National and International Scientific Conferences. He has supervised >70 MS, MPhil, and PhD research students and authored 80 research articles published in peer reviewed journals including PNAS and LANCET. He has been a member of many national and international professional societies including the American Society for Microbiology, and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2013). Dr. Alam has been appointed Senior Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University (since 2011-) and visiting Fellow of University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia (2011-14). He has been actively serving as a reviewer of international peer reviewed journals and member of the Editorial Board of Bangladesh Journal of Microbiology since 1996. He has been a recognized member of the Vibrio sub-committee of the PulseNet Asia Pacific, a world-wide Network of the PulseNet International.

Dr. Paul Keim
Northern Arizona University

Dr. Paul Keim is the Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology and the Arizona Regents Professor at Northern Arizona University (NAU). He is the director of NAU?s Microbial Genetics and Genomics Center. He also directs the Pathogen Genomics Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a nonprofit research institute. He maintains his Laboratory Affiliate at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Division of Biosciences. Dr. Keim?s current research interests include genomic analysis of bacterial pathogens and the application of genomic technology to clinical diagnostic problems. Dr. Keim?s laboratory has developed high resolution strain typing analysis methods for the forensic analysis of B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and F. tularensis. He has participated in collaborative projects with scientists from the former Soviet Union to understand the ecology and epidemiology of these pathogens. Dr. Keim has served on grant review panels for USDA and NIH; on advisory groups for the FBI, GAO, and DHHS; and on three previous NRC committees. He received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Kansas. He has done post-doctoral work in genetics, genomics, and biotechnology. He is currently a member of the FBI?s Scientific Working Group on Forensic Analysis of Chemical, Forensic Analysis of Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Terrorism (SWG), the National Science Advisory Board for Biodefense, and the executive advisory committee for the Pacific Southwest Regional Center for Biodefense. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Alemka Markotic
University of Rijeka

Dr. Alemka Markotic is an associate professor and lecturer in postgraduate studies at the medical school of the University of Rijeka and she teachers at medical schools in Zagreb, Osijek, and Split, Croatia. She is also head of the Research Department and head of the Department for Clinical Immunology, University Hospital for Infectious Diseases (UHID) in Zagreb, Croatia. She received her M.D. at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1989), an M.S. in medical microbiology and parasitology (1996), and a Ph.D. in infectious diseases (1999) from the University of Zagreb Medical School. Dr. Markotic began her biomedical research career at the University of Sarajevo Medical School in Bosnia and Herzegovina studying ribavirin treatment of hantaviruses during which time she collaborated with the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Medical Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland. She later received a National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at USAMRIID to conduct research on the immunopathenogenesis of hantaviruses. Based on this work she received the Joel Dalymple Memorial Award (American Society of Virology) and the USAMRIID Coin. Dr. Markotic?s research on hantaviruses has earned her seven national and nine international awards. She has published 56 peer-reviewed papers and delivered over 90 presentations at national and international conferences. She has been the principal investigator on research projects studying immune responses to intracellular pathogens, zoonoses, apoptosis in hantavirus-infected 293HEK cells. At the UHID, Dr. Markotic established the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases with nine international and six national partners, and she is responsible for managing the first Croatian BSL-2+ and BSL-3 laboratory that recently was completed at the UHID. At the request of the EU commission, Dr. Markotic designed, organized, and presented a biosafety/biosecurity training workshop in Beijing, China in May 2009. She worked for several years at the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb as a head of the Viral Vaccines and Interferon Quality Control Unity. She is a member of the Council of the International Society for Hantaviruses, the Board for Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, and was a member of the Committee of the Croatian Science Foundation, the National Council for Science, and vice-president of the Scientific Council in the Scope of Biomedicine and Health. In 2004, 2005, and 2009 she was an expert evaluator for FP6 projects (EU Commission, Brussels) in immunology and emerging infectious diseases. In the 1990s, during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she helped organize the ?Caritas? Pharmacy and Health Care Unit that addressed the health needs of those affected by the conflict.

Dr. Jongsik Chun
Seoul National University

Dr. Jonsink Chun is an Associate Professor of Biology at Seoul National University. Dr. Chun serves on Seoul National University's Interdisciplinary Program in Bioinformatics Steering Committee. Dr. Chun is associated with a number of institutes at Seoul National University, including the Institute of Microbiology Research, the Genetic Engineering Combustion Institute, and the International Vaccine Institute. He also assists the Rural Development Administration and the Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences.He has previously served as a Research Associate at the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland and as Senior Researcher at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology. Dr. Chun received his B.Sc. from Seoul National University and completed his Ph.D. at Newcastle University School of Medicine. Dr. Chun completed his Post-Doctorate work at the Research Center for Molecular Microbiology at Seoul National University. Dr. Chun is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. He serves as an Editorial Board Member for Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (Dutch Kluwer four issues), and Microbes and Environments.

Dr. Nancy D. Connell
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Dr. Nancy Connell is professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), New Jersey Medical School. Her major research focus is the interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the macrophage. She directs the UMDNJ Center for Biodefense, which does research in drug discovery for select agents and in development of biodefense preparedness training programs. She chairs the Recombinant DNA Subcommittee of the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and directs the Biosafety Level 3 Facility of UMDNJ?s Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Harvard University. Dr. Connell was a member of the NRC Committee to Review the Health and Safety Risks of High-Biocontainment Laboratories at Fort Detrick, and currently serves on the Committee on Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI?s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings and the Committee on Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention: An International Workshop. She currently serves as a member of the Committee on Developing a Framework for International Faculty Development Instiutes on Dual Use Education.

Dr. Juncai Ma
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Juncai Ma is the Assistant Director of Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Deputy Chairman of the Expert Committee on CAS Databases. He is also the director of the Committee on Type Culture Collection CAS and commissioner of CODATA Chinese National Committee, and executive of the World Federation for Culture Collections. Currently he is mainly engaged in the research work on bio-grid, parallel indexing, super large-scaled full-text retrieval technology, a search engine of remote heterogeneous databases, Linux Cluster System, and comprehensive utilization of IT technology in the field of biology. Meanwhile, he is in charge of the implementation of a variety of projects, including the China Microbial Resource Database, the Information Network System of CAS Biology Specimen Museum, the Microbial Information Gateway of National Scientific Digital Library, the E-Science Bio-Grid, the National Scientific Data Sharing Platform as well as the Information Network of Chinese Biotechnology and Industry. In 2006, he received a Ph.D. from the Biological Resource Department of Mie University, Japan.

Dr. Rita R. Colwell
University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Rita Colwell is a distinguished university professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. Dr. Colwell has shown how changes in climate, adverse weather events, shifts in ocean circulation, and other ecological processes can create conditions that allow infectious diseases to spread. In addition to her academic roles, Dr. Colwell is senior adviser and chairperson of Canon U.S. Life Sciences, and chairman and president of CosmosID, which is exploring the potential applications of molecular diagnostic technologies to the field of life sciences. Dr. Colwell served as the 11th director of the National Science Foundation from 1998 to 2004. She has previously served as chairman of the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and also as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Dr. Colwell has also been awarded 54 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education, including her alma mater, Purdue University. Dr. Colwell holds a B.S. in bacteriology and an M.S. in genetics, from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington. Colwell is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun bestowed by the emperor of Japan and the National Medal of Science bestowed by the president of the United States. She is a U.S. science envoy and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Bruce Budowle
University of North Texas Health Science Center

Dr. Bruce Budowle is the director of the University of North Texas Health Science Center's Institute of Investigative Genetics and vice chair of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics. Dr. Budowle joined the Health Science Center in 2009, bringing renowned expertise in the areas of counterterrorism, primarily in identification of victims from mass disasters and microbial forensics. Prior to joining the Health Science Center, Budowle spent 40 years as a senior scientist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, D.C. He was a principal advisor in efforts to identify victims from the World Trade Center attack in 2001 and helped establish a mitochondrial DNA sequencing program to enable high-throughput sequencing of human remains. Budowle's commitment to helping families resolve missing persons cases led him to Fort Worth after a lifetime in the Virginia/Washington, D.C., area in order to collaborate with Health Science Center researchers and advance the knowledge and use of forensics and DNA to improve health and safety of the world's population. Budowle has also been instrumental in establishing theDNA-ProKids initiative to identify missing children on an international scale.