Walter L. Straus is the Associate Vice President, Therapeutic Area Head, Clinical Safety and Risk Management at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co, Inc., where he leads a team that conducts research in vaccine-preventable and other infectious diseases, as well as oncology. The work spans early discovery through post-licensure assessments. As a result, he has involvement in issues ranging from molecular epidemiology, to development of patient-reported outcome measures for use in clinical trials, through to assessment of the safety and effectiveness of marketed products. While much of his work is done in support of clinical research, his group is also involved in basic research. Additionally, since so much of the burden of vaccine preventable diseases falls on developing countries, Dr. Straus’ team is also involved in epidemiologic assessment of disease in areas of the world normally outside of sphere that has historically characterized pharmaceutical development. This activity has led to his active involvement in internal discussions about proper research ethical considerations for research in developing countries. Dr. Straus is a former Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other non-governmental organizations. His primary medical ethics focus is upon ensuring appropriate research protection for vaccine research in developing countries. His team is active in scientific presentations and publications. He serves as a Technical Consultant to the AHRQ Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics at the University of Alabama, and holds an adjunct appointment with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania.