August 25, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Richard Whitley, M.D., has been tapped to serve on the 2009-H1N1 influenza working group of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
The group is providing recommendations to U.S. President Barack Obama, through PCAST, on federal activities needed to respond to H1N1, or swine flu. Issues examined by the group include infection data collection, vaccine production, drug stockpile, preparedness plans and other public-health concerns, Whitley said.
Whitley is co-director of UAB's Center for Emerging Infections and Emergency Preparedness and a renowned researcher on the antiviral therapies designed to fight infections in children and adults. A UAB professor of pediatrics, microbiology, medicine and neurosurgery, he also serves as vice-chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
Whitley is president elect of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and serves on the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health.
PCAST, which is administered by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and its working groups include the nation's leading scientists, doctors and engineers who directly advise the president and the Executive Office of the President on prevention, planning, best practices, resource allocation and other responsibilities.
UAB is the state of Alabama's largest employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center whose professional schools and specialty patient care programs are consistently ranked as among the nation's top 50. The UAB Health System includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's patient care activities, including UAB Hospital, the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org.