National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB)

The NSABB is a federal advisory committee that addresses issues related to biosecurity and dual use research at the request of the United States Government. The NSABB has up to 25 voting members with a broad range of expertise including molecular biology, microbiology, infectious diseases, biosafety, public health, veterinary medicine, plant health, national security, biodefense, law enforcement, scientific publishing, and other related fields. The NSABB also includes non-voting ex officio members from 15 federal agencies and departments.


NSABB Charter (2016)

NSABB Members

Frequently Asked Questions

International Engagement


Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process

On October 16, 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the launch of the U.S. government (USG) gain-of-function (GOF) deliberative process to reevaluate the potential risks and benefits associated with certain GOF experiments.  During this process the USG has paused the release of federal funding for GOF studies anticipated to enhance the pathogenicity or transmissibility among mammals by respiratory droplets of influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses. 

The NSABB served as the official federal advisory body on the GOF issue and was tasked with providing recommendations to the USG on a conceptual approach for evaluating proposed GOF research.  The NSABB finalized its recommendations on May 24, 2016.  NSABB recommendations will be considered by the USG as it develops new policy regarding the funding and oversight of GOF research.


NSABB Reports

NSABB Final Report - Recommendations for the Evaluation and Oversight of Proposed Gain-of-Function Research (May 24, 2016)

NSABB Framework for Conducting Risk and Benefit Assessments of Gain-of-Function Research (May 5, 2015)


Symposia Summaries and Commissioned Reports

1st National Academies Symposium Summary (December 15-16, 2014) – Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of a Workshop

2nd National Academies Symposium Summary (March 10-11, 2016) – Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of the Second Symposium

Risk and Benefit Analysis of Gain of Function Research – Final Report (Gryphon Scientific)

Gain-of-Function Research: Ethical Analysis (Professor Michael J. Selgelid)


Additional Material

Deliberative Process and Research Funding Pause Statement

NIH Director’s Statement on Funding Pause on Certain Types of Gain-of-Function Research

FAQs on Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process and Research Funding Pause

Supplemental Information on the Risk and Benefit Analysis of Gain-of-Function Research

Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process Written Public Comments (Nov 10, 2014 - June 8, 2016)