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Battelle Selects New Director For Biodefense Center

The Battelle National Biodefense Institute (BNBI) has selected Dr. George W. Korch, Jr. as the new lab director for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC).

“We did an extensive national search and I’m confident we found the best leader for the NBACC mission,” said Ron Townsend, Battelle’s Executive Vice President for Global Laboratory Operations and Chair of the BNBI Board of Directors. “Not only does he bring the experience of managing a nationally recognized biodefense lab and directing biosecurity programs, he has unparalleled scientific credentials as evidenced by his faculty affiliation with Johns Hopkins University.”

Returning to Fort Detrick will be a homecoming for Korch who served as the Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).  He was also instrumental in the creation of NBACC in the wake of the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to Fort Detrick and taking on the leadership of NBACC,” Korch said.

“The NBACC’s twin missions of threat characterization and bioforensics are essential and critical for our nation’s long-term biosecurity and for the continuous, real-time needs of federal law enforcement.” – Dr. George W. Korch, Jr.

Prior to joining BNBI Korch served for a number of years as  the Senior Science Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for the Department of Health and Human Services.  He served for a period as the Acting ASPR during the recent transition of administrations.  He retired from the U.S. Army Medical Department in 2008.

Koch holds a Ph.D from the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health. He also has a Visiting Professor appointment in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at this prestigious institution.  He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has a variety of scientific publications and is the recipient of numerous civilian and military awards and honors.

Korch replaces former NBACC director Patrick Fitch who has accepted a position with Triad National Security, LLC as Associate Lab Director for Chemical, Earth, and Life Sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Triad includes Battelle as a member of the LLC and is the new managing contractor at Los Alamos.

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