Dr. Garland D. Anderson, provost and executive vice president at the University of Texas Medical Branch, today announced a new leadership team for UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory. The GNL, the only national laboratory in Texas, serves as a national and international resource for research in the fight against emerging infectious diseases such as West Nile virus, H1N1, tuberculosis and Ebola.

Dr. James D. LeDuc, professor in the department of microbiology and immunology, will serve as director of the GNL and Scott C. Weaver, a professor in the department of pathology, will serve as scientific director of the GNL and as director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity.  

“These internationally recognized scientists will ensure that the Galveston National Laboratory is at the forefront of infectious disease research,” said Anderson. “Their contributions and accomplishments in their areas of expertise are a testament to the great team of researchers and scientists at UTMB.”

LeDuc, who has served as deputy director at the GNL since 2008, also serves as director for global health in the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and holds the inaugural Robert E. Shope, MD, and John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Global Health. Before coming to UTMB in 2006, LeDuc directed the division of viral and rickettsial diseases and served as pandemic influenza coordinator, among other positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He and his wife, Maryellen, live on Galveston Island.

Weaver, formerly vice chairman for research in UTMB’s Department of Pathology, holds the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense and is the director for tropical and emerging infectious diseases in UTMB’s Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Weaver joined the UTMB faculty in 1994 following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine. He and his wife, Dr. Donna Weaver, also live on Galveston Island.

In their roles as director of the GNL and director of the IHII, LeDuc and Weaver will succeed Dr. Stanley M. Lemon, who is returning to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a professor in the department of medicine and a member of the Institute for Inflammatory Disorders and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Scientists associated with the GNL, which was dedicated in November 2008, are renowned worldwide for their groundbreaking studies of some of the most critical emerging infectious disease and bioterrorism threats facing society today. The GNL, in partnership with UTMB’s National Bicontainment Training Center, is also poised to lead the nation in training the next generation of infectious disease scientists and engineers. Related programs are also projected to contribute an estimated $1.4 billion to the Texas economy (gross state product) over the next 20 years.