Brett P. Giroir
|16th United States Assistant Secretary for Health|
February 15, 2018
|Preceded by||Howard Koh|
|Born||November 4, 1960|
Marrero, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education|| Harvard University (AB)|
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (MD)
|Awards||John Harvard Scholar (1979–1982)|
Alpha Omega Alpha (1986)
Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service (2008)
Texas A&M University System Award for Innovation (2010)
Texan of the Year Finalist (2012)
Director, Texas Task Force on Infectious Diseases
Chair, Veterans Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel
|Years of service||2018–present|
Brett P. Giroir (born November 4, 1960 in Marrero, Louisiana) is an American physician-scientist who is the current Assistant Secretary for Healthand a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He assumed his current position on February 15, 2018. On November 15, 2018, President Trump nominated Giroir for appointment to serve the additional role as Representative of the United States on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. His nomination was sent to the Senate the same day. His nomination was returned to the President on January 3, 2019, with no action. The President renominated him on January 16, 2019.
Marrero is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. Marrero is on the south side of the Mississippi River, within the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 33,141 at the 2010 census.
The Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) serves as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services's primary advisor on matters involving the nation's public health and, if serving as an active member in the regular corps, is the highest ranking uniformed officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC). The ASH oversees all matters pertaining to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), the main division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the Secretary as well as provide strategic and policy direction for the PHSCC. The PHS comprises almost all the agency divisions of the HHS as well as the PHSCC, a uniformed service of more than 6,700 health professionals who serve at the HHS, other federal agencies, and/or are assigned details to the armed forces. The ASH is a civilian or a uniformed member of the regular corps and is nominated for appointment by the President. The nominee must also be confirmed by the Senate. The ASH serves a four-year term of office at the pleasure of the President. If the appointee is a serving member of the regular corps, he or she is also appointed as a four-star admiral in the regular corps. The President may also nominate a civilian appointee to also be appointed a direct commission into the regular corps if the nominee so chooses. As such the position of ASH is the only office in the PHS that merits a four-star grade in the regular corps. The Assistant Secretary's office and staff are known as the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). The current Assistant Secretary for Health is Admiral Brett Giroir.
A four-star rank is the rank of any four-star officer described by the NATO OF-9 code. Four-star officers are often the most senior commanders in the armed services, having ranks such as (full) admiral, (full) general, or air chief marshal. This designation is also used by some armed forces that are not North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members.
Giroir has led major initiatives for academic institutions, global corporations, and the U.S. Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs. He served as president and CEO of ViraCyte, LLC, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing cellular immunotherapies for severe infections and as senior fellow at the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute and Strategic Advisor for the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute (TMCx). He was a member of the Texas Task Force for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response (charted initially by the Governor to respond to Texas Ebola cases), Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, Tropical Medicine, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine.
The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is a 2.1-square-mile (5.4 km2) medical district and neighborhood in south-central Houston, Texas, immediately south of the Museum District and west of Texas State Highway 288. Over sixty medical institutions, largely concentrated in a triangular area between Brays Bayou, Rice University, and Hermann Park, are members of the Texas Medical Center Corporation—a non-profit umbrella organization—which constitutes the largest medical complex in the world. The TMC has an extremely high density of clinical facilities for patient care, basic science, and translational research.
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, US, is a health sciences university. It includes a medical school, Baylor College of Medicine; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Allied Health Sciences; and the National School of Tropical Medicine. The school, located in the middle of the world's largest medical center, is part owner of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of the CHI St. Luke's Health system, and has hospital affiliations with: Harris Health System, Texas Children's Hospital, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann – The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Menninger Clinic, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Children's Hospital of San Antonio.
Giroir chaired the independent Blue Ribbon Panel for the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, whose comprehensive assessment and recommendations to reform the Veterans Administration Health System were delivered to Congress and Secretary Robert McDonald on September 1, 2015. He subsequently testified to the full House Committee on Veterans Affairs on October 7, 2015, and communicated priorities for VA reform in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Giroir served as the deputy director, and then a director, of DARPA's Defense Science Office from 2004 to 2008, Vice Chancellor for the Texas A&M University System from 2008 to 2013, and as the chief executive officer of the Texas A&M Health Science Center from 2013 to 2015. He is widely known for leading novel biomedical initiatives within Texas culminating in the 2012 announcement of a public private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Biomedical Research and Development Authority to accelerate development and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics for pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases. This partnership had a $3 billion contract value over 25 years, with an estimated $41 billion in economic impact to Texas.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military.
The Texas A&M University System is a state university system in Texas and is one of the state's six independent university systems.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center, a component of Texas A&M University, offers health professions education in dentistry, medicine, nursing, biomedical sciences, public health, and pharmacy. It was established in 1999 as an independent institution of the Texas A&M University System and received accreditation in December 2002 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees. The institution merged with Texas A&M University proper on July 12, 2013.
Giroir received his A.B. degree in biology from Harvard University, magna cum laude, in 1982. He was the first college graduate in his family. Giroir later earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1986, Alpha Omega Alpha, and conducted his residency (1986–1989), chief residency (1989–1990) and fellowship (1990–1991) in pediatrics at the medical center, specifically at Children's Medical Center (Dallas) and Parkland Memorial Hospital. Giroir received his post-doctoral training at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Bruce Beutler, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is a medical education and biomedical research institution in Dallas, Texas, US. With approximately 14,400 employees and an operating budget of nearly $2.5 billion, UT Southwestern is one of six medical schools in the UT System. It is one of the largest medical schools in the country, annually training about 3,700 medical, graduate, and health professions students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows. Ongoing support from outside sources provides approximately $422.6 million per year to fund more than 5,700 research projects.
Following his fellowship, Giroir served on the faculty at UT Southwestern (1993–2004), earning the rank of tenured professor. He was the inaugural holder of the Associates First Capital Corporation Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics, and the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Care. His administrative positions included Director of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, and Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Units at Children's Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital. In 2000, Giroir was named the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at UT Southwestern, while taking on the role as the inaugural Chief Medical Officer at Children's Medical Center (Dallas). Giroir led a medical staff of over 750 physicians, and expanded the services of the hospital to better serve the region's burgeoning pediatric population. His research focused on severe life-threatening infectious diseases, including meningococcal disease ("the college meningitis"). Giroir's research was featured on a PBS NOVA entitled "Killer Disease on Campus"which originally aired in 2002. Giroir has published over 85 academic articles, chapters and books on a variety of topics including host-pathogen interactions and novel therapies for life-threatening infectious diseases.
Due to his work on life-threatening infectious diseases, and while continuing to serve full-time at UT Southwestern, Giroir accepted membership on the Defense Sciences Research Council (DSRC, 1999–2004), an agile academic and technical assessment council charged with assisting DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in developing novel, world-changing R&D initiatives. Giroir co-chaired or participated in studies related to biological weapons decontamination and universal medial countermeasures to biological threats during his appointment with the DSRC.
In 2004, Giroir accepted a full-time position at DARPA as Deputy Director of the Defense Sciences Offices (DSO), and then as its Director from 2007 to 2008. Among the most noted programs begun during this time were a comprehensive biodefense thrust known as Accelerating Critical Therapeutics and numerous programs in fundamental mathematics, engineering, and human performance. During Giroir's tenure, the Defense Sciences Office developed the following biodefense programs and other programs related to biosecurity with the goal of developing new technologies and approaches to be transitioned for translation by other agencies:
Giroir was also selected as a member of the Defense Sciences Study Group,a two-year intensive program to develop emerging leaders in science and technology. He was a member of the External Advisory Board, NASA National Center for Space Biological Technologies (2003–2007), and as the chair on the Chemical and Biological Defense Panel (2009–2010) for the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC).
On October 6, 2014, Governor Rick Perry announced the creation of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response to assess and enhance the state's existing capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemic disease such as the Ebola virus. The Governor named Dr. Brett Giroir as director of the task force to lead a team of internationally renowned experts in epidemiology and infectious disease.The task force provided expert, evidence-based assessments, protocols and recommendations related to the Ebola response, and developed a strategic emergency management plan for incident command teams and their partners at the state and local levels of government. This plan will build upon the existing State of Texas Emergency Management Plan, which addresses multiple aspects of preparing for, responding to and recovering from public health and medical crises in the state.
Giroir was appointed by USD-ATL to serve on the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) Chemical and Biological Defense Panel from 2008–2010, and was member of the Department of Defense Chief Scientist Panel for Biodefense from 2004–2008.
He appeared before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities hearing on Biodefense: Worldwide Threats and Countermeasure Efforts for the Department of Defense in October 2013.
Giroir served as Vice Chancellor for Research (2008–2011), and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives (2011–2013) and Executive Vice President and CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (2013–2015). He held professor appointments in the Texas A&M College of Medicine and the Dwight Look College of Engineering, and an adjunct professor appointment at The Bush School of Government and Public Service. Giroir's major focus was leading the development of the biotechnology initiatives within the Texas A&M University System and the Biocorridor in Brazos County.In this regard, Giroir was the lead investigator and Program Director for the design, development, and implementation of the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM), a first-in-class biopharmaceutical research and development program at Texas A&M University. This program has been acclaimed by many organizations, including the National Academy of Engineering Forum on 21st Century Manufacturing. Giroir was also the Co-Investigator on a Department of Defense sponsored project within the Blue Angel Program to develop and successfully implement the world's most capable plant-made vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing program.
The culmination of these efforts was the award of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Research and Development Authority Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. Along with two other national centers, the Texas A&M Center will be responsible for supplying 50 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine in a national emergency, and responding to known and previously unknown biological threats. The Center is responsible for developing and manufacturing medical countermeasures for the Strategic National Stockpile against all chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
In March 2013, GlaxoSmithKline and The Texas A&M University System announced U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approval of the establishment of an influenza-vaccine manufacturing facility as the anchor of the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) in Bryan-College Station, Texas. The announcement was hosted by Governor Rick Perry where he announced that the projected economic impact of this award to the State of Texas was estimated at $41 billion and included nearly 7,000 long term jobs.
Giroir led the transition of this Center to the Texas A&M Health Science Center upon his appointment as Executive Vice President and CEO of the Health Science Center, and recruited Dr. Gerald Parker (then Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense) as the new Principal Investigator for the Center.
During Giroir's two-years at the Health Science Center, research funding increased by 25% and federal funding by 65%. He led the development of a new strategic plan, formed a long term partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, and outlined new expansion plans at the Texas Medical Center.
After resigning from Texas A&M, Giroir founded Health Science and Biosecurity Partners, a consulting firm focused on life science innovation, strategy and investments. The firm serves a diverse portfolio of clients including academia, global corporations, the Federal Government, and life science ventures.
Giroir served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Cancer Moonshots Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan, the Institute for Patient Safety at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Esperance Pharmaceuticals and BioHouston. He served on the Board of Managers for Kalon Biotherapeutics and NASA's National Space Biomedical Research Institute, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and was a member of the Texas Medical Center Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
He has appeared in the media including CNBC, CNN, Reuters, New York Times, USA Today and BBC World Service Radio.[ citation needed ]
|Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service|
|Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon|
|Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon|
Texas A&M University System Award for Innovation
Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
American Heart Association, Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award
Society for Pediatric Research
Dallas Business Journal, Health Care Hero Award
Society of Critical Care Medicine, "SCCM Annual Scientific Award"
Society of Critical Care Medicine, "Presidential Citation"
Child Magazine, "Ten pediatricians who make a difference"
National High School Debate Champion
National Merit Scholar
John Harvard Scholar
Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, fungi, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form, in much the same way in biological warfare.
Biodefense refers to measures to restore biosecurity to a group of organisms who are, or may be, subject to biological threats or infectious diseases. Biodefense is frequently discussed in the context of biowar or bioterrorism, and is generally considered a military or emergency response term.
The Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech is a research organization specializing in bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology. The Institute has more than 250 personnel, including over 50 tenured and research faculty. Research at the Institute involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry, systems biology, statistics, economics, synthetic biology and medicine. The institute develops -omic and bioinformatic tools and databases that can be applied to the study of human, animal and plant diseases as well as the discovery of new vaccine, drug and diagnostic targets.
The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases is the U.S Army's main institution and facility for defensive research into countermeasures against biological warfare. It is located on Fort Detrick, Maryland and is a subordinate lab of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered on the same installation.
The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005, nicknamed "Bioshield Two" and sponsored by Senator Richard Burr, aims shorten the pharmaceutical development process for new vaccines and drugs in case of a pandemic, and to protect vaccine makers and the pharmaceutical industry from legal liability for vaccine injuries. The proposed bill would create a new federal agency, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA), that would act "as the single point of authority" to promote advanced research and development of drugs and vaccines in response to bioterrorism and natural disease outbreaks, while shielding the agency from public Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. BARDA would be exempt from long-standing open records and meetings laws that apply to most government departments.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is a public center of health sciences research, patient care, and education located in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.
Rear Admiral W. Craig Vanderwagen USPHS - retired is a Founder and General Manager of East West Protection, LLC, a company committed to building a safer world by developing and delivering integrated solutions to protect communities and sovereign countries from the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and natural pandemics. EWP provides disaster preparedness policy and program development, management, strategic planning advice, training management, and threat and impact studies and analytical support to local, national and international organizations in both the public and private sectors.
Emergent BioSolutions is a multinational specialty biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. It develops vaccines and antibody therapeutics for infectious diseases, oncology and autoimmune disorders, and provides medical devices for biodefense purposes.
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the largest biomedical research facility administered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The institute is centered at the Forest Glen Annex, part of the unincorporated Silver Spring urban area in Maryland just north of Washington, DC, but it is a subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered at nearby Fort Detrick, Maryland. At Forest Glen, the WRAIR has shared a laboratory and administrative facility — the Sen Daniel K. Inouye Building, also known as Building 503 — with the Naval Medical Research Center since 1999.
The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is a government biodefense research laboratory created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and located at the sprawling biodefense campus at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, USA. The NBACC is the principal U.S. biodefense research institution engaged in laboratory-based threat assessment and bioforensics. NBACC is an important part of the National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC) also located at Fort Detrick for the US Army, National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture.
The Project Bioshield Act was an act passed by the United States Congress in 2004 calling for $5 billion for purchasing vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack. This was a ten-year program to acquire medical countermeasures to biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents for civilian use. A key element of the Act was to allow stockpiling and distribution of vaccines which had not been tested for safety or efficacy in humans, due to ethical concerns. Efficacy of such agents cannot be directly tested in humans without also exposing humans to the chemical, biological, or radioactive threat being treated, so testing follows the FDA Animal Rule for pivotal animal efficacy.
The South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) was founded by the University of Texas at San Antonio at the former Brooks Air Force Base site in San Antonio, TX. Intended to become one of the preeminent centers for biodefense research in the nation to provide some assistance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lester Martínez López is the first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland. His responsibilities included overseeing the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, which develops antidotes and vaccines for diseases soldiers might face on the battlefield.
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The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office responsible for procurement and development of countermeasures principally against bioterrorism, but also including chemical, nuclear and radiological threats as well as pandemic influenza and emerging diseases. BARDA reports to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and manages Project BioShield. BARDA also procures materials, such as vaccines, for the Strategic National Stockpile, and more broadly is an established interface between the U.S. Government and the biomedical industry. BARDA also manages the governmental inter-agency Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise, providing coordination across the government in development and deployment of such countermeasures.
The United States biological defense program—in recent years also called the National Biodefense Strategy—began as a small defensive effort that paralleled the country's offensive biological weapons development and production program, active between 1943 and 1969. Organizationally, the medical defense research effort was pursued first (1956-1969) by the U.S. Army Medical Unit (USAMU) and later, after the discontinuation of the offensive program, by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Both of these units were located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories were headquartered. The current mission is multi-agency, not exclusively military, and is purely to develop defensive measures against bio-agents, as opposed to the former bio-weapons development program.
Luciana Borio is an American physician and medical/public health administrator. She currently serves as the Director for Medical and Biodefense Preparedness at the National Security Council. Previously, she served as Acting Chief Scientist of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Assistant Commissioner for Counterterrorism Policy of the FDA, and Director of FDA's Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats. She is known for her work advancing clinical trials, the development of medical countermeasures for health emergencies, and the public health responses to Ebola and Zika outbreaks.
The Pasteur Institute of Iran (PII) was founded in Tehran, Iran in 1921 under the incentive of Firouz Nosrat-ed-Dowleh III, then minister of Foreign Affairs, and with the help of a land donation from his father Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma. Its mission is to support advanced research and to provide innovative programs in basic and applied medical sciences, and production of biopharmaceuticals and diagnostic kits with special emphasis on infectious diseases. It meets the specialized and scientific health demands of the local community and tries to establish a link between applied research and industry. Pasteur Institute is a leading regional facility in the development and manufacture of vaccines.
The Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act of 2015, H.R. 3299, is a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would streamline government decisions and provide incentives for vaccines and treatment of dangerous pathogens and diseases. The bill was introduced by Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
The Alliance for Biosecurity is a consortium of companies that develop products to respond to national security threats, including bioterrorism pathogens and emerging infectious diseases. It is headquartered in Washington DC.
| Assistant Secretary for Health |