DomesticPreparedness met with Dr. Michael G. Kurilla, Director of the Office of BioDefense Research Affairs and Associate Director for BioDefense Product Development, NIAID. The NIH director for biodefense research and associate director for biodefense product development at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) discusses NIAID’s biodefense research initiatives to catalyze the development of vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tests.

DomPrep has divided the 25 minute interview into three segments.

Audio Segment One: NIAD and Biodefense

An overview of NIAID’s role in biodefense. Research priorities for counter-measures against “Category A” agents – i.e., those considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be the most dangerous bioterror threats.  The role of National Biocontainment Laboratories, Regional Biocontainment Laboratories, and Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research in product development and diagnostics.  How the Centers partner with state and local public health agencies in the creation and implementation of coordinated emergency-response plans. The example of the Katrina response.

Duration: 11 Minutes 30 Seconds

Audio Segment Two: NIAID’S Biodefense Vaccine Development

Biodefense vaccine development in general. Addressing the specific problem of vaccine development for immuno-compromised populations. A rundown on the state-of-play in: next-generation smallpox vaccines; vaccines to counter anthrax and botulism; and the flu vaccine supply.

Duration: 9 Minutes 35 Seconds

Audio Segment Three: NIAID Awards for Treatments for Radiological/Nuclear Exposure

An overview of treatments for radiological or nuclear exposure.  The development of diagnostics for better dosimetry. Relating concepts of operations for deployment of treatments to product development.

Duration: 4 Minutes 32 Seconds

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John F. Morton

John F. Morton is the Strategic Advisor for DomPrep. He is also the Homeland Security Team Lead for the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). A member of the DomPrep team since its founding, he has served as managing editor for writer assignments and interviewer for scores of DomPrep audio interviews.

Michael G. Kurilla

Michael G Kurilla, MD-PhD did his undergraduate work at CalTech, majoring in Chemistry. He completed his MD-PhD at Duke University. He took his postgraduate medical training in Pathology at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Elliott Kieff at Harvard Medical School where he was both a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow and Markey Scholar. He moved to the University of Virginia in Pathology and managed both a research lab as well as two clinical labs. He took over managing an Antimicrobial Drug Discovery group at Dupont Pharmaceuticals which was later purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb. He moved to Wyeth as Associate Director of Anti-infectives and finally arrived at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as a Medical Officer. In 2005, he was named as Director of the Office of BioDefense Research Affairs and Associate Director for BioDefense Product Development within NIAID. Over the years, his research activities have spanned the range of infectious disease including virology involving numerous RNA and DNA viruses, immunology, bacteriology, and mycology. He has been involved with drug discovery and development from targetentification through to clinical trial design.

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