January 27, 2023

Statement on the Report of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

Updated March 6, 2023: NIH has posted the final NSABB report, “Proposed Biosecurity Oversight Framework for the Future of Science”, and the report has been transmitted to the HHS Secretary. The final report incorporates modifications to the draft report made by the NSABB based on its deliberations at the January 27 NSABB meeting.

Today, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the National Institutes of Health, delivered its report, “Proposed Biosecurity Oversight Framework for the Future of Science.” The NSABB was charged to review and evaluate USG policies on Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO) and Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC). This report contains the findings and recommendations of two NSABB Working Groups, which were endorsed by the NSABB with minor modifications to the report and are aimed at ensuring U.S. biosecurity efforts are positioned to keep pace with an evolving scientific enterprise.  In delivering this report, the NSABB has fulfilled the charge it received on February 28, 2022.  I would like to thank the NSABB members for their thoughtful and careful consideration and analyses of these important policy issues, as well as members of the scientific community and the public who have provided their comments.

NIH, HHS, and its interagency partners, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council, will consider the NSABB report as part of the USG review process for the oversight frameworks for P3CO and DURC, which aim to effectively balance science and security while safely enabling critical, lifesaving research. Following this process, the USG will announce the next steps in the review process. 

Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD
Performing the Duties of the Director, National Institutes of Health