Dr. Ruben Donis is the Deputy Director of the Influenza Division of BARDA, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Dr. Donis was previously Associate Director for Policy Evaluation and Preparedness, at the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and previously Chief of Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch, also at CDC. Dr. Donis received his degree in veterinary medicine (DVM) from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his PhD from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY. After a post-doctoral Fellowship at Saint Jude Children’s Hospital, in Memphis, Dr. Donis joined the the University of Nebraska in 1989, where he became full professor in 2001. In 2015, Dr. Donis joined the Influenza Division of BARDA.
As a virologist in academia, Dr. Donis made important contributions to influenza and flavivirus reverse genetics, antivirals and vaccines. As a public health virologist, Dr. Donis with his team and collaborators contributed to the discovery of canine influenza virus (2005), the identification of broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies binding to the stem region of the influenza hemagglutinin (2010), and the discovery of bat influenza virus –including two new HA and NA subtypes (2012) in bats. Dr. Donis contributed leadership in science policy and emergency responses for the Influenza Division, NCIRD, and the CDC. As Branch Chief, Dr. Donis expanded CDC capabilities for characterizing and monitoring novel influenza viruses, and implemented innovative approaches towards development of pandemic and pre-pandemic vaccines. His virology and public health research contributions are reflected in many peer reviewed publications in the scientific literature.
Since joining BARDA’s Influenza Division, Dr. Donis oversees the implementation of influenza medical countermeasure advanced development programs including universal influenza vaccines and the expansion of domestic manufacturing infrastructure. He also oversees BARDA Influenza Division operations, including pre-pandemic vaccine stockpile management and accountability reporting.
Dr. Donis has received several awards, including the CDC Charles C. Shepard Science Award (2009 and 2013), Leveraging Collaboration Award (FDA, 2008) and Distinguished Service Award, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (2007).