Dr, Rick Bright, Ph.D., is director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within HHS.

BARDA develops and provides medical countermeasures to man-made and natural threats including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.

BARDA meets this mission by supporting product innovation, advanced development, acquisition and stockpiling, and building manufacturing infrastructure.

Dr. Bright previously served as Director of the Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division in the BARDA where he was responsible for preparing the nation for influenza pandemics and coordinating production, acquisition and delivery of medical countermeasures during a pandemic response. In this role, he managed a portfolio of projects for advanced development of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and respirator devices to aid in the response and protection against pandemic and seasonal influenza.

Dr. Bright joined BARDA in 2010 to lead the BARDA Influenza Division International Program, supporting programs to build and enhance global capacity for influenza vaccine production and evaluation in developing countries. Dr. Bright serves as an international subject matter expert on influenza, vaccines and therapeutics development and diagnostic programs. He has also serves as an advisor to the World Health Organization and the US Department of Defense.

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Dr. Bright began his career in influenza vaccine and therapeutics development at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Division. At the CDC, he focused on avian and human viruses from multiple perspectives including immunology and vaccine development, viral pathogenesis and molecular correlates of pathogenicity, as well as antiviral drugs and development novel assays for high throughput surveillance for resistance to antiviral drugs. Dr. Bright was a recipient of the Charles C. Shepard Science Award for Scientific Excellence.

Dr. Bright has also worked in the biotechnology industry where he serves as the Director of Immunology at Altea Therapeutics and Vice President of Research and Development and Global Influenza Programs at Novavax, Inc. In 2008, Dr. Bright joined PATH as the Scientific Director of the Influenza Vaccine Project in the Vaccine Development Global Program and the Director of the Influenza Vaccine Capacity Building Project in Vietnam. In this capacity, he provided technical leadership to accelerate the development of innovative vaccine and adjuvant candidates against influenza to ensure protection and access to vaccines for populations of developing countries.

Dr. Bright received his PhD in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) and his BS in Biology (Medical Technology) and Physical Sciences from Auburn University (Montgomery, AL).

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Dr Rick Bright Whistle Blower Complaint

The federal scientist who was ousted from his role as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Rick Bright was a high-ranking federal scientist focused on vaccine development and a deputy assistant secretary with the Department of Health and Human Services. Last month, Bright said he was transferred to a “less impactful position” at the National Institutes of Health after he was reluctant to promote the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.

In the complaint, Bright alleges a range of government wrongdoing by Dr. Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary of preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and others.

At the time of his removal, Bright said he had been ousted because of his “insistence” that the government spend funds on “safe and scientifically vetted solutions” to address the coronavirus crisis and not on “drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit.”