Presidential Advisory Council on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria formed

September 21, 2015

17 Min Read
Presidential Advisory Council on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria formed

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the USDA and the U.S. Department of Defense announce the appointment of nationally recognized experts to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

“Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health threat across our country. That’s why it’s so important that we work together to address this challenge,” says HHS Secretary Burwell. “Work is under way to implement a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, a research-driven plan to identify and coordinate action across the administration to prevent and control outbreaks of resistant pathogens. We have made progress including CDC’s new recommendations for nursing homes to improve antibiotic prescribing. But there is still more to do. I know this council will be important to this effort and provide invaluable advice on our programs, policies and plans to continue our work to combat this growing global threat.”

Antibiotics reduce illness and death from infectious diseases. However, an increasing number of bacterial infections no longer respond to our most powerful antibiotics, putting patients at risk for severe infections and even death. Detecting, preventing and controlling antibiotic resistance requires a strategic, coordinated and sustained effort. The work of the Advisory Council complements other federal efforts, including the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria. Together, these efforts provide a roadmap to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, strengthen surveillance, prevent the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, further new research, and improve international coordination.

“The range and depth of expertise on the Advisory Council will be invaluable to USDA and our partner agencies as we work to ensure the continued effectiveness of antibiotics,” says Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “We at USDA look forward to working with these council members who have dedicated their careers to addressing what has become a critical public health concern.”

"The threat from antibiotic-resistant bacteria is not just a health issue - it is a threat to the safety of all Americans and their trust in our institutions providing health care," says the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson. "The Defense Department is excited about this opportunity to work with leading scientists and researchers in the field to improve our national and international strategies for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria."

Established by Executive Order 13676, signed by President Obama on Sept. 18, 2014, the Advisory Council, comprising 15 experts and five organizations, will provide advice, information and recommendations to the HHS Secretary on programs and policies related to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Advisory’s Council’s inaugural meeting, open to the public, will be held Sept. 29, in the Great Hall of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave S.W., Washington, D.C.

Meet the Advisory Council

The following individuals have been appointed as voting members to the Advisory Council.

Chair: Martin J. Blaser, M.D.; Muriel and George Singer Professor of Medicine, professor of Microbiology, and director of the Human Microbiome Program, NYU School of Medicine, New York City. Blaser, a physician and microbiologist, with more than 30 years of expertise on human pathogens and the human microbiome, served as chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU. He also has served as president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research of the National Institutes of Health, and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and he was elected to the Institute of Medicine. Blaser wrote Missing Microbes for the general public. He is passionate about controlling antibiotic overuse, understanding the consequences of overuse, and creating new narrow spectrum agents and alternatives. 

Vice Chair: Lonnie J. King, D.V.M., M.S., M.P.A., A.C.V.P.M.; Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Executive Dean, Health Science Colleges, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. King has more than 30 years of expertise in advancing the health and welfare of animals and humans. He is an innovator in veterinary education, biomedical research and animal disease discovery. King is an expert in the “One Health” initiative and frequently serves as a keynote and guest panelist to diverse audiences worldwide regarding the convergence of human and animal health. He has also served as co-chair on the joint Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture to respond to the recommendations in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Michael Apley, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.C.P.; professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Manhattan, Kan. Apley is a veterinarian with nearly 30 years of experience in food animal agriculture, including time as a general practitioner, a specialized production medicine practitioner and researcher, and most currently as an academic veterinarian focusing on the use of drugs in food animals. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and has an extensive background in the use of antimicrobials in food animals, including service to related task forces or committees within the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the National Pork Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants.

Helen Boucher, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A.; director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program and associate professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass. Boucher is director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program and director of the Ventricular Assist Device and Cardiac Transplant Infectious Diseases Program at Tufts Medical Center. She also holds an appointment as associate professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include infections in immunocompromised patients and antibiotic-resistant infections. Her research interests focus on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the development of new anti-infective agents. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and currently serves on the American Board of Internal Medicine Infectious Disease Exam Writing Committee and Subspecialty Board. In 2014 she was appointed associate editor of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Boucher also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Physicians of TMC and The College of the Holy Cross.

Angela Caliendo, M.D., Ph.D., F.I.D.S.A.; professor and executive vice chair of Medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, R.I. Caliendo is a leader in infectious disease medicine and the development of molecular diagnostic tests for the detection and quantification of infectious diseases. She currently serves as chair of the Diagnostics Task Force for the Infectious Disease Society of America, and has provided crucial contributions as a member on IDSA’s Research Committee. During her tenure as DTF chair, she has led the Society’s policy initiatives related to clinical diagnostics, which have resulted in several publications, increasing congressional awareness on the need to support new infectious disease diagnostic technologies.

Alicia R. Cole; founder, Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients, Sherman Oaks, Calif. Cole’s life changed dramatically in 2006 when a routine surgical procedure left her fighting for her life against sepsis, multi-drug resistant bacterial infections and necrotizing fasciitis. Following a month in the intensive care unit and six additional surgeries, the healthcare associated infection survivor has endured nine years of aftercare. As a result of her experience, Cole and her parents founded ASAP, a non-profit education and awareness organization working to eliminate preventable infections. Cole is a nationally recognized patient safety consultant, public speaker and patient advocate. She helped co-sponsor the California law mandating annual infection prevention education for all healthcare workers with patient contact and mandatory public reporting of hospital infection rates. She serves on the California Department of Public Health’s Healthcare Associated Infection Advisory Committee, the Wyoming Infection Prevention Advisory Group and received a Post-Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management and Leadership from University of California, Los Angeles.

Sara Cosgrove, M.D., M.S.; director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and associate professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, BaltimoreCosgrove has been nationally and internationally recognized for her contributions to antimicrobial stewardship, preventing antimicrobial resistance and enhancing patient safety. She has conducted several important studies to demonstrate ways to prevent healthcare-associated infection, particularly those related to medical devices. Cosgrove was awarded the prestigious Oswald Avery Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which recognizes her substantial contribution to the infectious diseases research. She currently serves as vice president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Cosgrove also served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology as a participant in the Working Group on Antimicrobial Resistance that has recently provided guidance to President Obama on addressing the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

Peter Robert Davies, B.V.Sc., Ph.D.; professor of Swine Health and Production, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Davies is a veterinary epidemiologist specializing in infectious diseases of food animals, particularly swine. His professional experience includes several years of clinical practice; government regulatory work; two years as a livestock advisor on an international development project in Brazil; and senior academic positions in swine medicine (Leman Chair of Swine Health and Production, University of Minnesota) and veterinary public health (MAF Professor of Food Safety and Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand). Davies’ research focus is on the epidemiology of zoonotic and foodborne pathogens, including antimicrobial resistance, at the farm level. This research advances the understanding of relationships between the farm environment and its management that influence the occurrence of infectious agents, including assessment and mitigation of the associated risks to animals and people.

Kent E. Kester, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A., F.A.S.T.M.H.; vice president and head, Translational Sciences and Biomarkers, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pa. Kester is an infectious disease clinician-scientist with a long history of activities in infectious diseases and public health research, development and response. During his 25-year career in the U.S. Army, he held a variety of research assignments at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, an organization that he later served as commander/director. During his time there, he developed new research strategies to address infectious disease threats, and established new disease surveillance and research initiatives related to nosocomial infections and antimicrobial resistance. In addition to his current position at Sanofi, Kester also remains an active infectious disease clinician at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and is a professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, Ph.D., M.P.H; director and senior fellow, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, Washington, D.C. Laxminarayan’s professional career has been devoted to the issue of antimicrobial resistance, including the dynamics of its spread and its broad economic effects. He has an impressive track record in collaboratively crafting policies both in high- and low-income countries to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics. He has also helped develop several innovations such as the Resistance Map, an interactive set of maps that allow exploration of the evolution of antibiotic resistance in the United States, and the Drug Resistance Index, which produces a single measure of the burden of resistance in a hospital or geographical area which can be followed over time.

Aileen M. Marty, M.D., F.A.C.P.; professor, Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Family Medicine, and Community Health, Director, Health Travel Medicine Program and Vaccine Clinic, Florida International University, Miami. Marty is an infectious disease physician with more than 30 years of experience in clinical medicine and pathology. She is an expert in Tropical and Travel Medicine with expertise in the use and development of antimicrobials, new vaccines research, antibiotics, and diagnostic tools. She has helped study and develop microbiologic diagnostic tools and methods for identifying infectious agents, and helped develop new attenuated strains for safe and effective new vaccines. Marty also certified as a foreign animal disease diagnostician at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic School at Plum Island Animal Disease Center. She has served on Blue-Ribbon committees, White House committees, National Security Council advisory committees, and for the World Health Organization.

John H. Rex, M.D.; senior vice president and head of Infection, Global Medicines Development, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Waltham, Mass. Rex is a board-certified internist and infectious-disease specialist, and a leader in anti-infectives and product innovation. As an example he was one of two Industry-based co-founders of the New Drugs for Bad Bugs program within the Innovative Medicines Initiative in Europe, which boasts multiple working projects, several of which are specifically designed to bring Industry and Academic collaborators together on drug discovery projects. He brings a unique national and international perspective, in addition to his experience in small and large pharmaceuticals, academia and industry. Rex also served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Thomas R. Shryock, Ph.D.; chief scientific officer and managing member, Antimicrobial Consultants L.L.C., Greenfield, Ind. Shryock is a microbiologist with nearly 30 years of experience in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry advancing antibiotic candidates through all pipeline phases. He specializes in regulatory requirements for antibiotics in the United States and other countries. He has also worked on expert panels for the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization, and Codex to help set policies, guidelines and recommendations on veterinary antibiotics. He has experience with U.S. and international antimicrobial-resistance surveillance programs, antibiotic sales data reporting, responsible antibiotic use guidelines, innovation and alternatives to antibiotics. He also serves on the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute Veterinary Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing subcommittee.

Randall Singer, D.V.M., M.P.V.M., Ph.D.; professor of Epidemiology, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, St. Paul, Minn. Singer has experience investigating the emergence, persistence and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. His systems approach to the topic has resulted in him working with a diverse set of organizations and stakeholders, including veterinary and human medical, agricultural, public health, pharmaceutical and consumer advocacy interests. Singer has served on the U.S. Delegation to the Codex ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance from 2007 through 2010 and has provided expert testimonies to the U.S. House of Representatives on the topic of antimicrobial use in animal agriculture in 2008 and 2010. Early in his career, Singer was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Bill Clinton for his work on antibiotic resistance.

Robert A. Weinstein, M.D.; former chair, Department of Medicine, Cook County Health and Hospitals System, chief academic officer, The C. Anderson Hedberg, M.D. professor of Internal Medicine, Rush Medical College, Chicago. Weinstein has been involved in the treatment and research of antimicrobial agents for more than 30 years working in academic settings such as the University of Chicago, as an infectious disease physician at Michael Reese Hospital and Cook County Hospital and as the chairman of committees for anti-infectives, drug and antibiotic formularies, and infection prevention. He has developed new methods to improve patient care and safety with a focus on infection prevention and proper antimicrobial use. He has published extensively on adverse outcomes stemming from the inappropriate use of antibiotics and on methods to improve the use of antimicrobials in patients in various healthcare settings.

The following designated organizations have nominated non-voting liaison members to represent them on the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

National Pork Producers Council, Washington, D.C.; designated representative: Elizabeth Allen Wagstrom, D.V.M., M.S. The NPPC conducts public-policy outreach on behalf of its 43 affiliated state associations, enhancing opportunities for the success of U.S. pork producers and other industry stakeholders by establishing the U.S. pork industry as a consistent and responsible supplier of high-quality pork to the domestic and world markets. The NPPC has nominated Wagstrom to serve as their designated representative on the Advisory Council. Wagstrom is the chief veterinarian for the NPPC. She has a long history of working at the interface of animal and public health and led the initial development of the industry’s programs on responsible use of antibiotics. Wagstrom has been an industry consultant to the Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance as well as served as an Advisory Board member to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Get Smart on the Farm initiative. Wagstrom currently serves on the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture. She has made numerous presentations to U.S. and international audiences on the responsible use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.    

National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care, Mullica Hill, N.J.; designated representative: Sherrie Dornberger R.N., C.D.O.N.A., G.D.C.N., C.D.P., C.A.D.D.C.T., F.A.C.D.O.N.A. NADONA/LTC is a nurse specialty organization representing the nurse leaders within the long-term care continuum association with a mission to support and promote quality of care for those individuals receiving long term care, and concern for those delivering long term care. NADONA/LTC has nominated Dornberger as their designated representative. Dornberger is the current executive director of NADONA/LTC, and is a registered nurse with more than 40 years of experience in nursing administration, long-term care and infection prevention.

Animal Health Institute, Washington, D.C.; designated representative: Richard Carnevale, V.M.D. The AHI is the national trade association representing manufacturers of animal health products – the pharmaceuticals, vaccines and feed additives used in modern food production, and the medicines that keep livestock and pets healthy. The AHI has nominated Carnevale to serve as their representative. Carnevale is the vice president for Scientific, Regulatory, and International Affairs at the AHI. He has worked for more than 40 years in animal health and food safety for both the federal government and private industry, developing a clear understanding of how animal drugs are regulated and monitored, and their importance and significance in global agriculture. Carnevale has presented the perspectives of the pharmaceutical industry at scientific and professional meetings on antibiotic resistance and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on the issue. He has also represented the industry in numerous print and broadcast media stories on animal antibiotic use.

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Hartford, Conn.; designated representative: Jewel Mullen, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the state and territorial public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia. ASTHO’s members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice. ASTHO’s mission is to transform public health within states and territories to help our members dramatically improve health and wellness. ASTHO has nominated Mullen to serve as the organization’s designated representative on the Advisory Council. Mullen is commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Her professional focus is on the intersection of public health and primary care. A member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has served on the medical school faculty at New York University, The University of Virginia, Yale and Tufts. Board certified in internal medicine, Mullen received her bachelor and master of public health degrees from Yale University where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial epidemiology. A graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she completed her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a master in public administration degree from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.; designated representative: Elizabeth Jungman, J.D., M.P.H. The Pew Charitable Trusts is a 501(c)(3) public charity driven to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life, and has a longstanding interest in antibiotic resistance and commitment to spurring the development of new antibiotics and promoting antibiotic stewardship. Pew works to help address the economic, regulatory and scientific barriers to developing new antibiotics and is dedicated to reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in both animal agriculture and human healthcare settings. The Pew Charitable Trusts has nominated Jungman to serve as its designated representative. Jungman is the director of Pew’s Public Health Programs and oversees Pew’s work on antibiotic resistance, which includes work to promote policies to improve antibiotic stewardship in human healthcare as well as in animal agriculture and to encourage the development of new antibiotics. Before joining Pew, she served as a senior health policy adviser with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, where she played a key role in drafting and negotiating several health laws, including the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, which included the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now Act. Prior to that, Jungman was in private legal practice, where she counseled clients on a broad range of Food and Drug Administration regulatory matters and other health care issues related to the human pharmaceutical industry.

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