Director of the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus


Lia M. Haynes Smith, PhD

Photo of Lia M. Haynes

Lia Haynes Smith, PhD, is the first permanent director of the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus (NAC) located in CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. The NAC implements the poliovirus containment plan in the United States, ensures the national poliovirus inventory is maintained, and performs audits of and certifies all poliovirus essential facilities. Dr. Haynes Smith is also the National Poliovirus Containment Coordinator for the United States.

Dr. Haynes Smith previously served as a team leader and the associate director for laboratory science (ADLS) in NCIRD’s Division of Viral Diseases (DVD). Under her leadership, the Respiratory Viruses Immunology Team developed, evaluated, and implemented serologic diagnostics for coronaviruses including Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and worked to better understand the immune response to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in support of vaccine and therapeutic development. As ADLS, she ensured the effective implementation of laboratory quality management systems and regulatory requirements in DVD. She provided laboratory and technical expertise in the development and enhancement of division laboratory programs and laboratory facilities. She also advised division and center leadership on laboratory issues related to poliovirus containment and worked to get DVD labs ready for certification as a poliovirus essential facility. During her nearly 15 years at CDC, Dr. Haynes Smith has also served in leadership roles for multiple committees and working groups in laboratory, safety, and program areas.

Dr. Haynes Smith is a graduate of Spelman College, and holds a PhD in neuroscience with a concentration in Immunology from Northwestern University.

Page last reviewed: October 15, 2018