CAMBRIDGE, MA-- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) named Tammy Spain, senior scientist for biomedical systems at Draper Laboratory, to its panel of advisors on biodefense on April 16.
The National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) advises the HHS secretary on “preventing, preparing for, and responding to adverse health effects of public health emergencies,” and has helped improve federal policies and practices in this area, according to the HHS website.
Spain joined Draper’s Bioengineering Center at the University of South Florida (USF) in 2011, and works on projects in areas including infectious diseases, immunology, and medical countermeasures for the U.S. government. Her previous positions included serving as associate director for the Florida Center of Excellence for Biomedical Identification and Targeted Therapeutics at USF, technical director for the Pinellas County (Florida) Utilities’ Microbiology Laboratory and as the principal biochemist for Constellation Technology’s biodefense programs.
Spain holds a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Hawaii. She is a member of the National Defense Industry Association’s Women in Defense organization, the American Society for Microbiology, and the American Water Works Association, where she is a member of the Biological Contaminants Committee’s Florida Section.
“Dr. Spain’s appointment to the NBSB exemplifies the mission of Draper Laboratory to serve in the nation’s interest through the dedicated work of our diverse and talented staff. Her role in advising the HHS secretary continues Draper’s long history of public service,” said Jim Shields, Draper president.
Draper’s current work related to chemical and biological defense includes the development of fieldable sensor systems to detect chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, technologies to improve our ability to rapidly identify and respond to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, as well as the development of novel, broad spectrum treatments for biological pathogens.