Keim provides expertise on the genetics of weaponized pathogens

Phoenix, AZ, June 30, 2005 -- The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced that Dr. Paul Keim, Director of the institute's Pathogen Genomics Division, has been appointed to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), a group of 25 experts who will assess issues of biosafety in life sciences research.

The NSABB will provide advice, guidance and leadership regarding biological research that has the potential for misuse and could pose a threat to public health or national security. The NSABB will advise all federal departments and agencies that conduct or support life science research.

"Dr. Keim's groundbreaking research with lethal biological agents like plague and anthrax allows him to bring a unique perspective to the board," said TGen President and Scientific Director Dr. Jeffrey Trent.

"I am honored to serve my country by providing insight and expertise about potential biological threats," said Dr. Keim.

In addition to his appointment at TGen, Dr. Keim is a professor of biology and Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Keim and his NAU team are involved with protecting America against anthrax and other dangerous microbes by analyzing deadly agents that may be used in a biological attack at the genetic level. The group is also developing molecular identification tools for public health related pathogens, which cause illness in billions of individuals worldwide.

Dr. Keim's nomination was supported by members of the Arizona Congressional delegation, including Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain, and Representatives Rick Renzi, John Shadegg and J.D. Hayworth.

"It is a fitting tribute for Dr. Keim to be appointed to this biosecurity board," said Senator Kyl. "The appointment is testimony to Dr. Keim's work with pathogen genomics and his expertise will help positively shape the future of public health policy. His efforts on the NSABB will impact all of the nation, as well as TGen's research efforts."

"Dr. Keim has done a phenomenal job of collecting and studying biological threats from around the world," said Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi. "His appointment to the NSABB will help keep America safe and secure, and bring acclaim to Northern Arizona University."

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About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is focused on personalized medicine and plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research programs and its state-of-the-art bioinformatics and computational biology facilities.

About Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University (NAU) has a student population of about 18,000 at its main campus in Flagstaff and at 30 sites across the state. NAU has earned a solid reputation as a university with all the features of a large institution but with a personal touch. NAU carefully balances teaching, scholarship and service with a faculty and staff dedicated to each student's success. While our emphasis is undergraduate education, we offer a wide range of graduate programs and research that extend to such national concerns as forest health and bioterrorism.

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