News Release

Monday, February 13, 2006

Four New Members Named to NIAID Advisory Council

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced the appointment of four new members to the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, its principal advisory body. NIAID is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The council provides recommendations on the conduct and support of research, including training young scientists and disseminating health information derived from NIAID research. It embodies a diverse perspective on science, health and the human impact of disease. The council is composed of physicians, scientists and representatives of the public who contribute their time and expertise for a four-year term.

The new council members are Barbara A. Baird, Ph.D., of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; Kathryn M. Edwards, M.D., of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN; Martin Rosenberg, Ph.D., of Promega Corporation in Madison, WI; and Megan Sykes, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Dr. Baird is a professor in the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University. She also serves as director of the Nanobiotechnology Center and is principal investigator for Cornell’s training grant in molecular biophysics. Dr. Baird’s research laboratory uses biochemical and biophysical approaches to investigate basic mechanisms of cell surface receptors in mediating transmembrane signals in immune responses. A primary focus of the laboratory’s research is the high-affinity receptor for immunoglobulin E. She works closely with other interdisciplinary scientists and engineers to develop new technologies and quantitative approaches to cell biology problems.

Dr. Edwards is professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. She was the principal investigator of the NIAID-funded, placebo-controlled influenza efficacy trial comparing live, attenuated and inactivated influenza vaccines in more than 3,000 volunteers. She is now studying the impact of vaccination programs on disease burden and leads the NIAID-supported Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit at Vanderbilt. She served on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Vaccine and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration; and the Institute of Medicine Committee for the Evaluation of the Safety and Effectiveness of the Anthrax Vaccine.

Dr. Rosenberg is chief scientific officer of Promega Corporation in Wisconsin. He serves on the boards of directors for Promega Corporation; Cubist Pharmaceuticals; the Medical College of Wisconsin Research Foundation; Nereus Pharmaceuticals; Anacor Pharmaceuticals; and Scarab Genomics. He is also on various academic and industry scientific advisory boards and is editor of both Current Opinions in Biotechnology and the Journal of Bacteriology. Dr. Rosenberg is an adjunct professor in the department of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin and in the department of biochemistry at the Robert Woods Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Sykes is the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor in the department of surgery and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is an immunologist and associate director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research is in the areas of hematopoietic cell transplantation; achievement of graft-versus-leukemia effects without graft-versus-host disease; organ allograft tolerance induction; and xenotransplantation. Dr. Sykes is president of the International Xenotransplantation Association and a councilor of the International Transplantation Society.

News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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