The mission of the NBBTP is to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals of the highest caliber to meet the needs of the biomedical, emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities through the 21st century.
Each December, a select number of NBBTP Fellows, trained specifically to support high containment research environments begin work as biosafety professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the scientific, regulatory, biocontainment, biosafety, engineering, communications, management, and public relations challenges associated with the conduct of research in these facilities.
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2012
Thomas Cremer, PhD
Dr. Cremer currently serves as the Biological Safety/EHS Manger for the University of Louisville Regional Biocontainment Laboratory. There he serves as an Alternate Responsible Official for their Select Agent Program and supports BSL-3/ABSL-3 operations. Prior to joining the NBBTP Dr. Cremer received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology interdisciplinary graduate program where he authored 11 peer-reviewed publications on the immune response to bacterial pathogens, including Select Agents. He earned two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Toledo - one in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a minor in Chemistry, the other in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science Investigation.
Marisa Hickey, DVM, MPH
Dr. Hickey currently manages the Biosurety Training Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), developing and conducting high containment and Select Agent training for researchers, animal care takers, security and emergency responders, occupational medical personnel and facilities personnel. Prior to her time at NIH, she completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Illinois. Dr. Hickey worked at the Lincoln Park Zoo, assisting the veterinary epidemiologist with a disaster preparedness manual for zoological institutions, and she continued this effort with the first ever table top exercise dealing with an avian influenza flu outbreak in Midwestern zoo populations. She continues to enjoy public health outreach and education, and is dedicated to the one health initiative to promote health care for humans, animals and the environment.
Antony Schwartz, PhD
Dr. Antony Schwartz currently works for ProSource Consulting,
Inc. as the Associate Biosafety Officer at the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also an Alternate
Responsible Official (ARO) for the NIH Select Agent Program and
manages the day-to-day facility maintenance activities of the
maximum-containment training laboratory on the NIH Bethesda campus.
Prior to completing the NBBTP, Dr. Schwartz received his Ph.D. in
Microbiology from Department of Biological Sciences at The
University of Southern Mississippi in 2010. While at Southern Miss,
Dr. Schwartz also obtained a minor in Technology Commercialization.
He leveraged this minor by participating in numerous small business
ventures including the co-founding of a successful niche marketing,
branding and web-design company. As a graduate teaching assistant,
he has had the opportunity to engage and further the learning
experience of students from different disciplines through his
courses. Dr. Schwartz has served as the president and
vice-president for the Graduate Student Forum in his department and
was the department representative for the Southern Miss Graduate
Student Senate. Dr. Schwartz is an alumnus of Jackson State
University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in
biology (honors) and minors in chemistry and broadcast journalism
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2011
Dave Harbourt, PhD
Dr. Harbourt currently works for ProSource Consulting, managing the maximum containment laboratory training center on the NIH-Bethesda campus. Prior to the NBBTP, Dr. Harbourt received his Ph.D. from the Curriculum in Toxicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. His research was focused on using quantitative proteomics to evaluate expression of drug metabolizing enzymes and membrane transporters in relation to gastrointestinal toxicity in rats. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Harbourt was a Teaching Assistant in the Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy course for the Department of Biology. The lab focused primarily on dissections and hands-on analysis of a series of marine and terrestrial specimens to compare structures and functions of organ and skeletal systems. Before his matriculation into UNC, Dr. Harbourt received his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at Virginia Tech in 2005. While at Virginia Tech, he also worked as a Lab Assistant within the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science.
Marcienne Wright, PhD
Dr. Marcienne (Marci) Wright is an AAAS Science and Technology
Policy Fellow, where she conducts program analysis for the ASPR
Office of Policy and Planning, Division of Biosafety and
Biosecurity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Wright serves on the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
institutional biosafety committee and holds an adjunct faculty
appointment at Bard College, where she develops and teaches
biosafety and biosecurity outreach curricula for first year
students. Prior to joining NBBTP, Dr. Wright served as a laboratory
manager at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and
completed a Ph.D. program in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.
In addition to her graduate research, Dr. Wright contributed to
multiple science education policy initiatives at UAB and
nationally. Dr. Wright received her Bachelor of Arts in biology
from Williams College and her Doctor of Philosophy in biochemistry
and molecular genetics from the University of Alabama at
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2010
Ms. Lingenfelter now works for the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, an independent, non-profit organization focusing on mammalian genetics research to advance human health. Their mission is to "discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease and to enable research for the global biomedical community." Ms. Lingenfelter obtained her Bachelor of Science in genetics from Texas A&M University in 2000 and a Master in Science in Public Health in 2002 from the School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. As part of her master's research, she studied the ability of several microbial assays to estimate the genotoxicity of three model polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Ms. Lingenfelter continued studying PAHs for her dissertation work in the toxicology program at Texas A&M, which involved studying human environmental exposures to PAHs. In addition to research responsibilities, she worked as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate class in food toxicology and food safety and assisted with instruction in a graduate lab in an environmental sampling methods class.
Ms. Smith now works as a Regulatory/Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD, a leader in genomic research with offices in Maryland and San Diego, California. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Alcorn State University. Prior to her acceptance into the NBBTP, Ms. Smith was a mentor in the HBCU-UP program at Alcorn State University where she conducted laboratory safety lectures to educate students to the possible dangers of working with dangerous chemicals and the importance of laboratory safety. She also worked as an assistant researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she focused on mapping candidate genes involved with tomato fruit cuticle biosynthesis.
Molly Stitt-Fischer, Ph.D., CPH
Dr. Fischer now serves as a Biosafety Officer for the University of Pittsburgh where she advises the University community on policy and programs necessary to assure the control of biological agents that will ultimately protect faculty, staff, students, the University and the environment. As part of her responsibilities, she serves as an active member of the Institutional Biosafety/rDNA committee, Biohazards Committee, and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee; and provides consultation on biological agents, potentially infectious material, recombinant DNA and other potential hazards in the academic and research environment. Dr. Stitt-Fischer received her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in April 2008. She also has a Master of Science in Molecular Toxicology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (February 2002) and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Allegheny College (May 1999). While pursuing her Ph.D., her research focused on exploring the connections between zinc homeostasis and nitric oxide signaling in the pulmonary endothelium. Prior to that, she worked as a research technician at the University of Pittsburgh examining zinc homeostasis in pulmonary endothelial cells.
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2009
Alexis (Them) Brubaker, (SM), NRCM, MSFS
Ms. Brubaker now serves as the Associate Biological Safety Officer for Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she works with a team that gets to provide biosafety services for everything from greenhouses to cows to nanotechnology, to classic BSL-2 & BSL-3 research. Prior to her appointment at Cornell, Ms. Brubaker served two years as the Biosafety Level Four (BSL-4) Training Manager for the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL) at the Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, she provided "blue suit" and associated trainings, assisted with biosafety services, and managed the training received by all personnel who were preparing to work in or around the upcoming BSL-4 lab. Prior to her appointment as an NBBTP fellow, Ms. Brubaker served the West Virginia State Public Health Laboratory for more than two years as the Bioterrorism Response Coordinator for the Office of Laboratory Services, where she provided clinical and environmental laboratory services, and where she had the opportunity to work closely with various Local, State, and Federal agencies to prepare and train for potential bioterror events. Alexis received her Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS) in 2005 from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania in 2002.
Marcus Gomez Hodges, Ph.D.
Dr. Hodges attended Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medical science. In 2005, Dr. Hodges earned a doctoral degree in biology from Howard University in Washington, DC. As a graduate student, he conducted research on infectious organisms such as Trypanosoma musculi and Plasmodium falciparum. Prior to his acceptance into the NBBTP, Marcus worked as a NIAID postdoctoral fellow for the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, investigating the immunomodulatory effects of Ascaris suum pseudocoelomic fluid on allergic asthma. Upon completing the NBBTP Fellowship, Dr. Hodges worked for the Battelle National Biodefense Institute as a Biosafety-Biosecurity Specialist for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) located in Frederick, MD. Dr. Hodges currently serves as the Fellowship Program Director for the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program.
Currently working as an Associate Biosafety Officer for the National Institutes of Health in Hamilton, MT, Ms. Morgan earned a Bachelor's of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science and a certificate in Molecular Diagnostic Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Certified Medical Technologist and Clinical Laboratory Specialist in molecular biology. Her previous experience includes supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Defense Sciences Office for research involving animal and human subjects. She also gained science policy experience at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, with a focus in biosecurity.
Hao A. Vu
Mr. Vu now serves as a Biosafety Specialist at the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. He was the Director of Preclinical Development at AFG Biosolutions, Inc in Gaithersburg, MD. He received his M.S. degree in Biodefense from George Mason University and his undergraduate degree in Zoology at Brigham Young University where he was involved in the development of a mouse model for early onset osteoarthritis.
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2008
Sherry S. Bohn
Sherry S. Bohn now serves as a Biosafety & Biosecurity Specialist at NBACC following her completion of the NBBTP. She began her doctoral studies in Cellular and Microbial Biology at The Catholic University of America in 1999. She also served as a teaching assistant for a variety of classes including microbiology, cell biology and genetics, and was involved in scientific education outreach programs such as The Gene Search Summer Program at The Catholic University of America and the Paul Jr. High Public Charter School Saturday Academy through FAES/NIH. Her undergraduate work at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, resulted in dual degrees in Biology and Communication Arts, and before heading to graduate school she served as an Assistant Environmental Manager for The Geon Company in Pedricktown, NJ.
John Tonkiss, Ph.D., (SM),NRCM, CBSP
Upon completing his NBBTP Fellowship, Dr. Tonkiss began work as the Associate Director, High-Containment Safety for the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL) at the Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Tonkiss holds a Doctorate of Medicine in Child Health/Developmental Psychobiology from Manchester University (U.K.) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, with first class honors from Manchester Polytechnic (now called Manchester Metropolitan University). After post-doctoral training at the University of Manchester, the University of Minnesota and Oxford University, Dr. Tonkiss obtained a faculty position at BUMC, becoming Associate Professor of Psychiatry in 1994. At BUMC, Dr. Tonkiss has acted as 1) Associate Director of the Center for Behavioral Development and Mental Retardation, 2) scientific member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and 3) Protocol Compliance Reviewer tasked with reviewing all active animal use protocols involving USDA covered species.
NBBTP Fellowship Class of 2007
CDR Thomas Arminio, USPHS, CBSP
CDR Arminio earned a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, an RN degree from the College of St. Catherine, and a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Vassar College. Before joining the NBBTP, CDR Arminio was assigned to the Indian Health Service, Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, at the Santa Fe Indian Hospital where he held the position of Safety and Infection Control Manager. Areas of interest in biosafety include applying clinical nursing skills to occupational health and emergency medical management in high containment environments, syndromic surveillance of biological threats and policy development in biosurety issues, with emphasis in internal settings.
CDR Arminio is currently a Biosafety Manager at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH's state-of-the-art biomedical research facility in Montana. The new Integrated Research Facility (IRF) is the first facility of its kind to house BSL-2, -3 and -4 laboratory space along with offices and conference space, and enables researchers to study priority pathogens in the area of biodefense in the safest and most secure environment possible.
Angela Ragan, CBSP
Ms. Ragan, MS, SM (NRCM), CBSP, Biosafety Manager for the NIH
NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) at Fort Detrick,
successfully completed the NBBTP Fellowship in December 2007. She
is currently providing safety oversight and writing standard
operating procedures/emergency procedures for the IRF BSL-2 and
BSL-4 containment laboratories. She has more than 12 years of
professional experience in the Occupational Safety and Health field
at multi-faceted working environments (private consulting,
government contracting, and at a higher education institution). She
obtained a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and a minor
in geology from Slippery Rock University and in 2011 earned a
Master of Science in biotechnology with a concentration in
biodefense from Johns Hopkins University.
After initial training in industrial hygiene and occupational safety, Ms. Ragan became the Biological Safety Officer/Industrial Hygienist at the Catholic University of America before entering the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) Fellowship at the NIH. During the Fellowship, she obtained the designation of Certified Biosafety Professional (CBSP) and Specialist Microbiologist (SM) by the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists.