Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
David A. Relman is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in Medicine, and a Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University, and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. He is also Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and served as the Center’s Science Co-Director from 2013-2017. Relman trained at MIT and then Harvard Medical School, followed by clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and a postdoctoral fellowship in microbiology at Stanford.
Relman was an early pioneer in the modern study of the human indigenous microbiota (microbiome). His current research work focuses on assembly, diversity, stability and resilience of human microbial communities. Previous work included pathogen discovery, and bacterial pathogenesis. He received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2006 and an NIH Transformative Research Award in 2013. He has served as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors at both NIDCR/NIH and NCBI/NIH. Among policy-relevant activities in biological security and emerging infections, Relman served as vice-chair of the National Research Council Committee that reviewed the science performed for the FBI 2001 Anthrax Letters investigation, chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats (2007-2017), chair of the Standing Committee that examined illnesses in U.S. State Department employees stationed in Cuba and China (2019-2020), and currently serves on the Intelligence Community Studies Board and the Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, all at the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. He was a founding member of the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (2005-2014), a member of the Working Group on Biodefense for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (The White House) (2016), and President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) (2012-2013). He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2011, received the Walsh McDermott Medal from NAM in 2020, and the Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement from IDSA in 2021.