Press Release

Grabow Appointed National Health Mission Area Executive

Barry Grabow has been named mission area executive for the National Health Mission Area at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, formally stepping into a role he has held in an acting capacity since August.

APL’s National Health Mission Area comprises two major program areas: Health Protection and Assurance focuses on securing individual and global health, and Warfighter Health and Readiness focuses on the health and care of our nation’s warfighters.

As acting mission area executive, Grabow focused on finding new opportunities for impact in areas such as sensor development and prototyping. He said he would continue to align the mission area’s work with its recently updated strategy, centered on a charge to provide health care at any time, and anywhere.

“Individuals are at risk for illness or injury in a variety of circumstances and settings,” he said. “How do we assure the right care is available for future long-duration space travelers millions of miles from Earth? How do we assure the right care is available after a natural disaster that eliminates supply chains, renders health care facilities inoperable and prevents skilled health care workers from reaching those who need care? How do we assure that an elderly person isn’t overcome by multiple illnesses that dramatically impact their quality of life?”

Focused on those questions, he said, the mission area takes a strategic, collaborative approach to making sure the right care solutions are available in any circumstance.

“We do this by drawing on insights from our other goals and by partnering with health care stakeholders to develop solutions based on data and requirements,” he continued. “We test these solutions in operationally relevant conditions and learn how to refine and extend them as new insights are gained and as new operational requirements emerge.”

Grabow brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He taught briefly at Johns Hopkins before coming to APL in 1993 as a postdoctoral researcher in the Electro-Optical Systems Group of what was then called the Fleet Systems Department. He led research efforts on superconducting thin film detectors, evaluating their performance as the prototype for a high-speed, very sensitive, wideband passive detector system of radiant energy.

He was appointed to the Laboratory’s Principal Professional Staff in 2005 and quickly took on positions of increasing responsibility, in several departments, amassing an extensive background in radio frequency circuit modeling, simulation, design, testing and measurement. His most recent work in this area includes miniature radio frequency transmitter modules with integrated microprocessors and antennas. His experience includes high-data-rate multichip-module design; high-speed, low-temperature cable design; digital signal processing hardware applications; and microwave circuit design, testing and measurement.

He has also served in many leadership roles during his APL career, including deputy mission area executive, branch supervisor, program manager and group supervisor.