Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, has introduced a bill that would transfer control of the Army's biological defense research program to the director of the National Institutes of Health, except for purely military research.

The Army would retain control over research involving classified information and research, such as testing protective clothing and detection devices."I am greatly concerned about the biological weapons activity the United States in undertaking, and feel very strongly it needs more civilian control," Owens said.

Research at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah would not be affected by the bill, but biological research at universities could be placed under the NIH if the bill becomes law, said Owens aide Paul Warenski.

More than 100 universities, research institutes and corporations have received Army grants under the program.

Utah State University scientists, for example, received a five-year, $3.2 million grant in 1985 to test anti-viral drugs for the punto toro virus spread by sand flies in Central America.

A Brigham Young University scientist received a three-year, $250,000 grant in 1985 to develop a new vaccine for anthrax.