Members Appointed to the Community Group for National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at BU

in Featured, Press Releases
December 17th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2012

CONTACT: Ellen Berlin, 617.520.7115 or



(Boston) — Six members have been appointed to fill the open positions on the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL).  The new members were appointed by John R. Murphy, Interim Director of the NEIDL. These new members come from neighborhoods adjacent to the NEIDL and bring a variety of different skill sets to the CLC. Their appointments expand the community representation on the CLC from to 11 members.

Formed to promote public participation and transparency in the operations and activities at the NEIDL, the CLC facilitates collaboration, cooperation and information exchange between the NEIDL and the community. Chosen through an open self-nominating process, members meet monthly and serve on a volunteer basis.

The six new members are:

–          Valerie Helen Shelley – Ms. Shelley is a lifelong Roxbury resident who holds memberships in several community-based organizations including the Orchard Garden Pilot School Board, the Orchard Garden Resident Association, and the Resident Empowerment Coalition. She also volunteers two days a week with the Boston Public School System.

–          Kenneth Nwosu – Mr. Nwosu is a Dorchester resident. He attended Boston Public Schools and created and executed a summer football training and conditioning program for BPS high school students. He has a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. He is currently a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (Massachusetts branch) (APTA). Also, he is the Sports Coordinator Consultant for Whittier Street Health Center, a role that emphasizes improving the overall health  (through exercise and diet) in the individuals that reside in 5 Housing developments: Whittier, Orchard Gardens, Mission Main, Alice Taylor, and Lenox Camden. Additionally, he serves as a mentor to inner city male youths that participated in the football program. He provides free injury screenings to all individuals in the community and educates the community about developing a healthier lifestyle.

–          Matthew White – Mr. White is a South End resident and is active in civic and community organizations. He is a board member of Washington Gateway Main Street and is president of the Blackstone Franklin Square Neighborhood Association. He has experience working with patients, families and medical staff in healthcare settings. Matthew was the Manager for the Patient and Family Experience Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he worked extensively with professionals in research, clinical care and community relations.

–          Robert Timmerman – Mr. Timmerman is a long time South End resident, and member of the Union Park Neighborhood Association.  He is an energy engineer, inventor, and amateur theater technician.  He has over 30 years experience in the energy and building design fields, holds 3 U.S. Patents in the energy field, and is a member of several technical organizations in his field.  His most recent invention is a clog resistant drainage grate for areaway drains.

–          James Eliscar – Mr. Eliscar was born and raised in Haiti.  He moved to Boston in 2002 and has been involved in numerous Haitian community groups. He is interested in socio-economic determinants of health and has worked on multiple community health related projects. Since the earthquake, he has been working on sustainable livelihoods projects in Haiti. He holds a Master of Science of Public Affairs in International Relations. Mr. Eliscar currently works for a Boston-based nonprofit as Director of Strategic Planning and Grant Research.

–          Chayla White – Ms. White is a South End resident. She is a law student and part time legislative aide for Representative Martin Walsh. As a legislative aide, she has had many occasions to work with community members and organizations.

The NEIDL is part of the national network of secure facilities whose mission is to perform cutting-edge basic and clinical research on emerging infectious diseases; provide state-of-the-art training in these areas of research; and establish a research facility with the highest attention to community and laboratory safety and security. Currently, BSL-2 research on Tuberculosis is being conducted at the NEIDL. BSL-3 and BSL-4 research is not being conducted and will not commence until the completion of several regulatory and judicial steps.

For more information on the NEIDL and the CLC, go to

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research.  With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States.  BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission.  In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.