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


Lia M. Haynes Smith, PhD


Lia Haynes Smith, PhD is the Director of the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus (NAC) located in the Office of Readiness 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 came to CDC in 1999 as an Oak Ridge Institute, Science and Education (ORISE) fellow and in 2004 was named Team Leader of the Respiratory Viruses Immunology Team (RVIT) in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases’ Division of Viral Diseases (DVD). Under her leadership, the RVIT 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 in support of vaccine and therapeutic development.

In 2014, Dr. Haynes Smith served as the Associate Director for Laboratory Science (ADLS). In this role, 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.

Throughout her career 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.