Leader of World’s Largest Biotech Advocacy Organization, Michelle McMurry-Heath, Joins NTI’s Board of Directors

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest biotechnology organization, is joining NTI’s Board of Directors, NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz announced.

A global leader in science policy with a background in biosecurity, McMurry-Heath is a medical doctor and immunologist whose career spans government, the pharmaceutical industry, and biotechnology. She focuses on broadening access to scientific progress so more patients from diverse backgrounds can benefit from cutting-edge advancements, which she calls “the social justice issue of our age.”

“We are honored to welcome Dr. McMurry-Heath to our Board,” said Moniz. “She will bring invaluable expertise on biotechnology innovation, science policy, biosecurity, and diverse perspectives to NTI’s Board and to our NTI | bio program. We look forward to working with her to reduce global biological threats.”

Before joining BIO, McMurry-Heath held several senior positions at Johnson & Johnson and was a key science policy leader in government, including serving as the associate science director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health under then-FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, now an NTI Board member. McMurry-Heath also was founding director of the Aspen Institute’s Health, Biomedical Science, and Society Policy Program. She received her early training in science policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and later served as Senator Joe Lieberman’s top legislative aide for science and health where she drafted legislation to protect the country from biological attacks.

McMurry-Heath received her MD/PhD from Duke’s Medical Scientist Training Program, becoming the first African American to graduate from the prestigious program.

“NTI has been committed to addressing biological threats since our founding. A key priority for our NTI | bio team is safeguarding modern bioscience and biotechnology development to reduce risks of accidental or deliberate misuse with potentially catastrophic consequences. We are fortunate to have Dr. McMurry-Heath help guide this work,” said Sam Nunn, co-chair and co-founder of NTI.

“Dr. McMurry-Heath has demonstrated longstanding leadership and commitment to advancing biosecurity throughout her career.  Her guidance on the NTI Board of Directors will help bolster NTI | bio’s work and impact in the field at a critical time,” added Hamburg.

Read Dr. McMurry-Heath’s full biography here.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity.  NTI | bio fosters new thinking, tests solutions, and advocates for change to address potentially catastrophic biological events at a global scale.

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