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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Spotlight On: Dr. Greenlees Honored for Outstanding Leadership

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 Cover of Spotlight On: Dr. Kevin Greenlees
by Shannon Cameron, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

On March 10, 2010, Dr. Gary Jensen, Chair, Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA), surprised Dr. Kevin Greenlees with an award for his outstanding leadership on the JSA Working Group for National Aquaculture Drugs, Biologics and Pesticides. Dr. Greenlees’ plaque reads, “Your vision and dedication resulted in commendable successes and innovative approaches to benefit the aquaculture community in the United States.” 

Whether fishing for flounder in Hempstead Harbor off Long Island Sound, or working as a food safety toxicologist for the federal government, Dr. Greenlees has “always been interested in fish.” He joined FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as a Staff Fellow over 20 years ago, and is now the Senior Advisor for Science and Policy in CVM’s Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation. He became involved with aquaculture while working on a drug approval project for minor species. Dr. Greenlees helped lead a series of research projects on animal drug residues in finfish, and became a CVM technical expert in aquaculture food safety in 1993. From 1995 to 2007, Drs. Greenlees and Jensen co-chaired the JSA Working Group for Quality Assurance in Aquaculture Production, which later became the JSA Working Group for National Aquaculture Drugs, Biologics and Pesticides. The working group was a forum for federal officials, aquaculture industry leaders, members of academia, and others to share information about and create new strategies for the approval and legal use of important aquaculture products. According to Dr. Jensen, the working group “served as a model for other minor species and minor use sectors of animal agriculture.” 

Throughout his tenure with CVM and the JSA, Dr. Greenlees has worked on many projects, but one that stands out for him was helping develop the position of National Coordinator for Aquaculture New Animal Drug Applications. Alongside others from CVM, Dr. Greenlees and the JSA worked with the aquaculture industry to identify priority drugs both needing and not needing traditional approval by FDA. They shared information about how aquaculture drugs are and could be used, and what data were needed for a traditional approval. One of the early outcomes of this work was the creation of the National Coordinator, whose work greatly benefited the aquaculture industry.

The Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA) is a group of people from all federal agencies that have a stake in U.S. aquaculture. The JSA works “to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of Federal aquaculture research, technology transfer and assistance programs.” The subcommittee reports to the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science and is made possible by two pieces of legislation, the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 and the National Aquaculture Improvement Act of 1985. 

In the Aquaculture Act of 1980, Congress declared, “It is, therefore, in the national interest, and it is the national policy, to encourage the development of aquaculture in the United States.” Dr. Greenlees has spent his career doing just that. 

Congratulations Dr. Greenlees on your award!