THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

National Research Council

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Board on Life Sciences

500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Phone: 202 334 2187 Fax: 202 334 1289

November 5, 2010

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Director

National Institutes of Health

Building 1 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Dear Dr. Collins:

At your request, the National Research Council (NRC)1 reconvened its Committee on Technical Input on Any Additional Studies to Assess Risk Associated with Operation of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL), Boston University2 to provide you and your Blue Ribbon Panel with further technical input on the scope and design of any additional studies that may be needed to assess the risks associated with the siting and operation of the NEIDL.

In particular, you asked the NRC committee to meet with the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel in public at key milestones in the development of the draft risk assessment. To this end, the NRC committee met in open session with the Blue Ribbon Panel on September 22, 2010 to hear presentations by NIH’s contractors on the approaches they are taking to conduct the risk assessment. Following the open meeting, the NRC committee met in closed session to begin preparing this brief letter report, focusing on whether the analyses presented at that meeting are scientifically and technically sound in general and whether they address the concerns raised by the NRC in its first three letter reports. The committee’s full statement of task, as developed with your office, is provided in the main body of this report.

The committee reviewed the material presented by the NIH contractors on September 22 and concluded that it cannot endorse as scientifically and technically sound the illustrative analyses presented. These analyses do not, so far, represent a thorough assessment of the public health concerns raised by the committee in its previous reports. The committee understands that the analytical results discussed were incomplete and that work on additional analyses is still ongoing. We hope, therefore, that the comments provided in this letter report will be helpful to you and the Blue Ribbon Panel as you consider how the remainder of the work to be performed is carried out.

1

The principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

2

A list of committee members and their biographies is included as Attachment A.



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N ational Research Council 500 Fifth Street, NW Division on Earth and Life Studies Washington, DC 20001 Board on Life Sciences Phone: 202 334 2187 Fax: 202 334 1289 November 5, 2010 Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. Director National Institutes of Health Building 1 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20892 Dear Dr. Collins: At your request, the National Research Council (NRC)1 reconvened its Committee on Technical Input on Any Additional Studies to Assess Risk Associated with Operation of the 2 National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL), Boston University to provide you and your Blue Ribbon Panel with further technical input on the scope and design of any additional studies that may be needed to assess the risks associated with the siting and operation of the NEIDL. In particular, you asked the NRC committee to meet with the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel in public at key milestones in the development of the draft risk assessment. To this end, the NRC committee met in open session with the Blue Ribbon Panel on September 22, 2010 to hear presentations by NIH’s contractors on the approaches they are taking to conduct the risk assessment. Following the open meeting, the NRC committee met in closed session to begin preparing this brief letter report, focusing on whether the analyses presented at that meeting are scientifically and technically sound in general and whether they address the concerns raised by the NRC in its first three letter reports. The committee’s full statement of task, as developed with your office, is provided in the main body of this report. The committee reviewed the material presented by the NIH contractors on September 22 and concluded that it cannot endorse as scientifically and technically sound the illustrative analyses presented. These analyses do not, so far, represent a thorough assessment of the public health concerns raised by the committee in its previous reports. The committee understands that the analytical results discussed were incomplete and that work on additional analyses is still ongoing. We hope, therefore, that the comments provided in this letter report will be helpful to you and the Blue Ribbon Panel as you consider how the remainder of the work to be performed is carried out. 1 The principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. 2 A list of committee members and their biographies is included as Attachment A. 2

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