National Children's Study Federal Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Alison Director-Myska is the Acting Branch Chief of the Threat Agent Characterization and Countermeasures Branch in the Advanced and Emerging Threats Division (CBS) Division of the Chemical and Biological Directorate at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA J9 CB). She joined the DTRA CB team in 2005 as a Senior Scientist on their Advisory and Assistance Support contract team. In, 2008, she transitioned joined DTRA CB as a Federal Civilian and took on the role of Science and Technology Manager of the Threat Agent Toxicology portfolio. In her current role, of Acting Branch Chief, she leads a team of civilian and military scientists and engineers in carrying out specific chemical and biological (CB) threat reduction science and technology (S&T) programs that provide a robust fundamental knowledge base for countering current and future CB threats. The portfolios within this branch include efforts that explore the physicochemical properties, reactivity, environmental fate, and toxicology of threat agents; as well as work on preclinical discovery and early drug development prophylactics and therapeutics against traditional CWAs and emerging threats to provide FDA-approved medical countermeasures to the warfighter. The portfolios that she manages directly have the goal of providing molecular and cellular understanding of host-agent interactions by achieving the following objectives: (1) elucidate molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and toxicology to inform the development CB countermeasures, (2) discover mechanisms of immunological protection to inform host-directed countermeasures, (3) identify nodes of convergence for mechanisms of action among agents to enable broad-spectrum approaches, (4) identify human toxicity estimates for emerging threats, and (5) develop in vitro and in silico models to enable rapid screening and generate predictive capabilities. She is currently working toward incorporating a Systems Toxicology approach into managing her portfolio and is also interested in exploring technologies for predictive toxicology and alternatives to animal testing.
Prior to joining the DTRA J9 CB team in 2005, Dr. Director-Myska ran a molecular cytogenetics research laboratory at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and did clinical cancer research at the National Cancer Institute. She was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute where her research included developing biodosimetry assays for radiation and chemical weapons exposure. Currently, Dr. Director-Myska has responsibility for identifying and translating customer requirements into technical objectives, evaluating alternatives for achieving objectives, and generating technical and fiscal program plans for accomplishing focused and cost-effective research and development (R&D).