Cyril Gay, DVM, PhD

Senior National Program Leader, Animal Production and Protection,Agricultural Research Service


Dr. Gay obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University, and a PhD in Microbiology from The George Washington University.  Dr. Gay has worked in the animal health research field for the last 25 years holding several positions of increasing responsibility in the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry.  As Chief, Biotechnology Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Dr. Gay developed the procedures for licensing molecular vaccines that led to the first license for a live recombinant vectored vaccine.  In the pharmaceutical industry (SmithKline Beecham and Pfizer Animal Health), Dr. Gay led several cross-functional teams that successfully developed and licensed veterinary vaccines for companion animals and livestock.  As Director, Global Product Development, Pfizer Inc., Dr. Gay developed strategic and tactical plans that interfaced R&D, clinical development, manufacturing, marketing, and product life-cycle management.  Dr. Gay joined Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA, in 2002.  Dr. Gay currently holds the position of Senior National Program Leader and provides program direction and national coordination for the Department’s intramural animal health research program, with focus on eight research laboratories located in Ames, Iowa, East Lansing, Michigan, Clay Center, Nebraska, Athens, Georgia, Orient Point, New York, Beltsville, Maryland, Pullman, Washington, and Manhattan, Kansas.  Dr. Gay provides technical support within the interagency in the implementation of the President’s National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats, including the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF).  Dr. Gay launched the Global African Swine Fever Research Alliance (GARA) in 2013 and currently serves as its Executive Secretary.  Dr. Gay also serves as the Executive Secretary of the Global Foot-and-Mouth Research Alliance (GFRA).  Dr. Gay was the 2010 recipient of the USDA Secretary’s Honors Award for interagency response to the pandemic H1N1 influenza outbreak; the ARS Special Administrator’s Award for outstanding and rapid research support for pandemic H1N1; the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for Emergency Response to the 2013 Chinese H7N9 avian influenza outbreak, and received a U.S Presidential Rank Award in 2017.


USDA Biological Development Module at the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF)

Current facilities at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) do not have the dedicated specialized space needed to support the early development and technology transfer of veterinary medical countermeasures (MCM).  This is a major gap as the incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop and manufacture MCM for foreign animal diseases (FAD) is limited since there is a very limited market for these products in the United States.  There is therefore a critical need to mitigate the risks associated with developing MCM to incentivize pharmaceutical companies to invest in their development, registration, stockpiling, and distribution.  To address this need, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated plans for a Biological Development Module (BDM) at the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF).  This session will highlight some of the features of BDM, including staffing needs.


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