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Harvey Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Director

Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

February 2012

Harvey Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.Dr. Rubin received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and his M.D. from Columbia University in 1976.  He was a House Officer in Medicine at The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and did his fellowship in infectious diseases at Harvard and the Brigham.  Dr. Rubin joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and became Professor of Medicine in 1998.  Dr. Rubin holds secondary appointments as Professor in the Department of Microbiology, the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the School of Medicine and as Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Dr. Rubin has extensive experience in the fields of clinical medicine and medical research, computational and systems biology, strategic threat research, medical school and University administration, as well as institute and multi-organizational directing and management.

Dr. Rubin’s laboratory is in the Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, and his research is on the genetic and biochemical mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other human bacterial pathogens.  His research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and DARPA.  In addition to his work on the basic biology of the disease, he has extended the investigations to mathematical modeling of complex biological systems. In this regard he has brought together the engineering, mathematical and biological communities to tackle one of the most important biomedical problems in the world.  His research has resulted in over 90 peer-reviewed papers chapters or reviews.

Dr. Rubin served on a number of national and international scientific review panels including the NIH, NSF, NASA Intelligent Systems Program, DARPA, and The Medical Research Council, South Africa.  He chaired the session on Patient Modeling at the NSF workshop on High Confidence Medical Devises and Software Systems. Dr. Rubin organized and chaired the NSF Conference on Advanced Computation Inspired by Biology that resulted in a funded program at the NSF and chaired a session at the NSF workshop on Models of Thought Processes, Insights Toward Chemical Systems in June 2004 and the 2010 NSF/NSA Workshop on The Mathematical Foundations of Open Systems.

Administratively, Dr. Rubin served as the Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) for Research at the Philadelphia Veterans Hospital from 2000-2001.  In 2001, Dr. Rubin retired from the ACOS position to assume the position of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was responsible for 1) academic and course counseling for the medical students, 2) individual meetings with the students and preparation of the Dean’s letter for graduating students, 3) faculty oversight for the Student Standards Committee, 4) policy development for student standards and 5) oversight of the required scholarly pursuit portion of the fourth year in Medical School. He was called on to work closely with students in crisis situations, provide emergency counseling and advise students who were in academic difficulties. He also serves as the course director for the Wilderness Medicine elective, and was the faculty councilor for AOA.

He was Chair of the School of Medicine Committee on Appointments and Promotions (COAP) from 2001 to 2004.   COAP reviews and votes on every new appointment to Medical School, carries out formal academic performance reviews on every junior faculty member of the Medical School and reviews and votes on every promotion and tenure recommendation in the School.  This position gave Dr. Rubin the opportunity to guide and advise a large number of junior faculty along their career path in academic medicine.  In the process, he worked closely with the Dean and Chairs of Departments in the School of Medicine and afforded him a detailed knowledge of the Health System.   Prior to the Chairmanship of COAP, Dr. Rubin served as member of the University Senate Executive Committee and as the Chair of the University Committee on the Faculty.

Dr. Rubin was elected to the Chair-elect, Chair and then Past Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate (2009-2011). The Faculty Senate is comprised of all standing faculty in the University and plays a central role in the shared governance of the University.  The day-to-day work of the Senate, overseen by the Chair, is generally carried out by the Senate Executive Committee and a Committee on Committees, a Nominating Committee, Senate Committee on Academic Freedom & Responsibility, Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty and five standing committees: The Committee on Faculty and the Administration, The Committee on the Faculty and the Academic Mission, The Committee on Students and Educational Policy, The Committee on Publication Policy for Almanac, The Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity and Equity.  The Chair, Chair-elect and the Past Chair meet privately twice each month with the President and Provost of the University in consultation.

Dr. Rubin became Director of the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response ISTAR, which he founded in 2002.  The mission of ISTAR is global–addressing strategies and responses to intentional as well as unintentional threats. Some of the areas under investigation  include: the dynamics of urban preparedness; international treaties and compacts for infectious diseases, protection of the physical and information infrastructures; risk assessment and public communication in times of crises; emerging  infectious diseases and agents of bioterrorism; health care delivery and public health systems under crisis situations;  curriculum development to teach the response to all hazards; and economic models of the consequences of pandemics and other disasters . ISTAR is leading the effort to develop a treaty to address issues of pandemics, emerging infectious diseases and international security.  As part of his activities in ISTAR he was called to give testimony before the United Kingdom House of Lords Committee on communicable diseases in May 2008.

He is a consultant to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of DHS for Infrastructure Protection.  He was appointed to the newly formed National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) in 2005 and served two terms on the board serving on the international affairs and synthetic biology working groups for the Board.  NSABB is charged with advising on the development several important directives: guidelines for the oversight of dual-use research; national policies on the publication and communication of sensitive research results; a code of conduct for scientists and laboratory workers engaged in life sciences research; training programs and materials to educate the research community about effective biosecurity; and strategies for fostering international collaboration about oversight of dual-use research.

In October 2005, the Mayor of Philadelphia appointed Dr. Rubin and Mr. Pedro Ramos Managing Director of the City as Co-Chairs of the City of Philadelphia Emergency Preparedness Review Committee (EPRC).  The EPRC consisted of private and public stakeholders as well as City personnel with primary emergency management responsibilities.  The charge to the EPRC was to evaluate the City’s existing emergency medical, evacuation, and business continuity plans, including conducting a thorough analysis of the potential catastrophic threats the City faces and to recommend measures to deter as well as respond to those threats. The result of the EPRC was a detailed reorganization of the City’s emergency preparedness structure.

CV Rubin June 2013