Diana Whipple

Agricultural Research Service


Diana Whipple serves as the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) Transition Coordinator. In this role, she provides leadership and coordination, along with other team members, for the planning of the operational standup of NBAF and the transition of programs from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) to NBAF. Prior to this role, she served as the Deputy Director of the USDA, ARS, National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa and as a member of the Board of Directors for the USDA, National Centers for Animal Health (NCAH). Ms. Whipple was a member of the steering committee that provided oversight for the $466 million modernization of NCAH facilities and was directly involved in the design and operational standup of the new facilities in Ames, IA.  Ms. Whipple previously served as a research leader and scientist at NADC working on mycobacterial diseases of livestock and wildlife. She is a member of the American Biological Safety Association, International and the International Veterinary Biosafety Working Group.


NBAF Operational Stand Up Status

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) will be the premier center of scientific excellence for the study of transboundary, emerging, and zoonotic animal diseases (those transmitted between animals and humans) that threaten U.S. agriculture economy, food supply, and public health. This state-of-the-art facility will be a national asset that helps protect our nation’s agriculture and its citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases.

NBAF will ultimately replace the existing Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) and all its essential functions, as well as provide additional capabilities for early development of veterinary medical countermeasures.

Once NBAF becomes fully operational, it will provide several “firsts” for the U.S., including a maximum containment large animal Biosafety Level (BSL) 4 facility to study particularly dangerous zoonotic agents in large animals and a Biologics Development Module (BDM) to enhance and expedite the transition from research to commercially viable countermeasures. This will place NBAF at the nexus of the biodefense and agro-defense domains and establish NBAF as a leader among biocontainment laboratories.

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