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Henderson to Lead Public Health Response to Anthrax Attacks

By Brian W. Simpson

Drawing on the School's public health expertise, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson recruited D.A. Henderson to coordinate the national public health response to the anthrax mail attacks and chose Phillip Russell, MD, to be a key vaccine adviser.

On Nov. 1, Henderson, MD, MPH '60, was named director of the Office of Public Health Prepared-ness, which will coordinate the HHS responses to public health emergencies. In taking the job, Henderson leaves his position as director of the School's Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies. (See Center story on page 10.) 

Henderson, who served as dean of the School from 1977 to 1990 and directed the global smallpox eradication campaign prior to that, will coordinate HHS agencies' response to the anthrax attacks and any possible events in the future. He will continue to lead a national advisory council on public health preparedness, to which he was appointed in October. 

Russell was named by Thompson to be special adviser on vaccine development and production at HHS. Russell is a professor at the School's Center for Immunization Research and has a joint appointment in the School's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

Tara O'Toole, MD, MPH '88, formerly deputy director of the Center, has been named to succeed Henderson as director of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies. Thomas V. Inglesby, MD, was promoted from senior fellow to deputy director of the Center.