Eva K Lee, ISyE professor and Director for Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare, has been selected to join the 13-member National Preparedness and Response Science Board (NPRSB), the federal committee that provides advice and guidance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The inauguration and swearing-in was held in Washington D.C. on January 30.
Originally called the National Biodefense Science Board, the NPRSB’s new title is designed to more accurately reflect the board’s work, expertise, and contributions to the HHS and the nation’s health resilience. Working groups are established within the NPRSB to tackle critical issues, and the board is charged with assisting the government accordingly.
With her appointment to the NPRSB, Lee becomes the first person with a background in mathematics, operations research and systems engineering selected for the board, which is typically filled with scientists trained in the bio/medical domain, or emergency response leaders.
“I am very honored to be selected, and am excited to be given the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of experts on the challenges of preparedness and response,” says Lee, Distinguished Scholar in Health Systems with the Emory/Georgia Tech Health Systems Institute
Lee’s work in biodefense and public health began in 2003 when the CDC enlisted her help regarding the challenges inherent in preparing and protecting a city and its population in the event of a pandemic or bioterrorism incident. The CDC and her team at Tech worked late nights during the winter holiday break, benchmarking and testing the limits of the existing technologies, ultimately developing a powerful mathematical and computational tool now used by local public health departments across the U.S. She also assisted with the U.S. response to the earthquake in Haiti and was on the ground in Fukushima for the radiological emergency response there.
Lee’s work has been recognized through the years with numerous national honors, including the INFORMS Franz Edelman, Pierskalla, and the Daniel H. Wagner awards. A sought-after speaker, she will present her research on medical preparedness and pandemic response at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, touching on issues including the flu, measles and Ebola.