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Navy microbiologist joins PNNL to work on biodefense for national security

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September 14, 2005 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — James R. Campbell, a microbiologist with more than 30 years experience combating infectious diseases that could threaten national security, has joined the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a manager in the physical and chemical sciences division. At PNNL, he will help guide biological security and biological defense programs and initiatives for national security applications.

Retired from the U.S. Navy in August, Campbell has considerable experience leading large, multiorganizational teams in the United States and overseas. Prior to joining PNNL he was a commanding officer of the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global in London, where he managed the international portfolio of a $1.7 billion research program with outreach to 45 countries.

"I've focused on infectious diseases of military relevance," Campbell said of his work with the Navy, citing diseases such as typhoid, malaria and travelers' diarrhea. This last ailment, caused by diverse strains of E. coli bacteria, can temporarily disable troops as well as vacationers, he noted, and is a debilitating complaint for which "you don't develop an immunity and there is no vaccine."

Much of Campbell's career was spent abroad in the Asia-Pacific region, Egypt and England. Working with Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore, he helped establish an Early Warning Outbreak Recognition program to facilitate the sharing of disease outbreak information. The program is credited with detecting the first SARS outbreak in Vietnam in advance of any other national or international reports.

Campbell has been a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, where the focus is on the global fight against terrorism and asymmetric warfare, in which adversaries are mismatched in their military capabilities or their methods of engagement. He also serves on the Human Factors and Medicine policy committee for NATO's Research and Technology Organization.

Holder of a master's degree from San Diego State University and a doctorate in microbiology from UCLA, Campbell holds current academic positions with the University of Hawaii, the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, and the University of Maryland.

Following Operation Desert Storm, Campbell, a Vietnam veteran, was decorated with the Navy is Meritorious Service Medal for leading the development and deployment of a biosensor for use by coalition forces to detect anthrax contamination in the battlefield. Campbell also holds two Humanitarian Service Medals, two Commendation Medals, three Legions of Merit and two additional Meritorious Service Medals.

He is the author of approximately 64 peer-reviewed publications and books, plus one work of fiction, a techno thriller titled Genetic Jihad (Writer's Showcase Press, 2000).

Tags: Fundamental Science, National Security, Operations, Biology

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