Medical Preparedness

Lead: Asha M. George, DrPH

Co-Director for the Blue Ribbon Study Panel for Biodefense and Principal at Strategic Operational Solutions

Asha M. George, DrPH, is a Co-Director for the Blue Ribbon Study Panel for Biodefense and Principal at Strategic Operational Solutions (STOPSO). Previously, she served in the US House of Representatives as subcommittee staff director and senior professional staff at the House Committee on Homeland Security. DHS, the FBI, and HCFA have recognized her homeland security, public health, public policy, and emergency management contributions. Dr. George is also a decorated Desert Storm veteran, having served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer and as a paratrooper. Dr. George holds a doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, run by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.


Amy L. Altman, Ph.D.

Vice President, Biodefense

Amy L. Altman, Ph.D., was appointed vice president of biodefense on 1 July 2010. She joined Luminex in March 2007, and has served as director of the Extramural Research Office and most recently as senior director of research and development for the Luminex Bioscience Group. Before joining Luminex, she was an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she focused on chemical and biological defense and technology development. She earned her B.A. degree in microbiology in 1993 and her M.S. degree in microbiology in 1996 from Miami University. In 2000, she earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University.


James J. Augustine, M.D.

Emergency Physician, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wright State University

James J. Augustine, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is a member of the board of directors of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is the director of clinical operations for EMP, an emergency physician group based in Canton, Ohio. Previously, he served as chair for The Joint Commission Hospital Professional Technical Advisory Committee, and on the Board of Commissioners.  He has a role as the vice president of the Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance. In his 31 years of service in emergency medicine and emergency medical services, he has served in a medical director role in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, and Dayton, Ohio. He is a national consultant, author, and speaker on disaster operations, emergency department operations, and design.


Michael G Kurilla, MD-PhD

Director, Office of BioDefense, Research Resources, National Institute of Health

Dr. Kurilla is the Director of the Office of Biodefense, Research Resources, and Translational Research as well as Associate Director for Biodefense Product Development for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). His primary role is to provide overall institute coordination for product development of medical countermeasures against bioterror threats and other emerging infectious diseases. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He earned his MD-PhD from Duke University. He took his postgraduate medical training in Pathology at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Elliott Kieff at Harvard Medical School as a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow followed by a Markey Scholar Award. At the University of Virginia, he was an Assistant Professor of Pathology as well as Co-Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Diagnostics and Associate Director for Clinical Microbiology. He moved to the private sector working in anti-infective drug development at Dupont Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Wyeth. He subsequently joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as a Medical Officer. In 2005, he was named to his current positions within NIAID. 


Heather Medwick

CEO for the International Centre for Infectious Diseases

Heather Medwick is CEO for the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, a Canadian not for profit organization that partners to reduce the burden of infectious diseases in Canada and throughout the world by gathering, facilitating and disseminating evidence, knowledge, and intelligence for better decisions.  Within this role, Ms. Medwick catalyzes collaboration among researchers, physicians and public health specialists to help achieve greater protection and value from public health investment and infectious disease innovation.


Sue Snider

Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance

Sue Snider is the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance (NVHA), a 501(c)6 created by the Hospitals of Northern Virginia in 2002 in response to the 2001 Anthrax attacks.  NVHA exists to coordinate emergency preparedness, response and recovery activities for the member hospital and healthcare systems in cooperation with Local, Regional, State and Federal response partners.  With advanced degrees in Biology from The College of William and Mary, Sue taught Biology at the High School and University level before leaving education to start her own Emergency Planning business.  She later relocated to the DC metro area and represented the Virginia Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Virginia Department of Emergency Management for 8 years, acting as a program manager, liaison, and consensus builder.  She has also created, and currently serves as Executive Director of, a new 501(c)3 in partnership with local governments; Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS) which supports a regional approach to coordinated preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery across jurisdiction and discipline boundaries.