Biosecurity Experts, Scientists, and Emergency Preparedness Officials Gather to Discuss Biosafety and Dual Use Research of Concern

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The University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) is partnering with the Middle Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (MARCE) to present the 2014 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Conference on Monday, February 10, 2014. The day-long session will feature top experts and authorities presenting on and discussing “Laboratory Safety, Security and Preparedness in the Evolving Era of Dual Use Research of Concern.”
 
Conducting vital biological research on potentially lethal pathogens, while ensuring that appropriate protective mechanisms are implemented to prevent accidental or intentional release of those organisms, is a critical balancing act for the public health community.  In late 2011, when two separate laboratories attempted to develop and publish research that demonstrated how few mutations were necessary to transform avian influenza H5N1 into a strain more easily transmitted between humans, political and public backlash followed. This year’s conference aims to assess the fallout of resulting research provisions, the necessary safety and security relationships to protect the public, and discuss the current state of the balance between science and public safety.
 
Since 2009 CHHS has brought together key stakeholders from the public health community through MARCE conferences. Topics have ranged from bioresearch to biodefense.  MARCE represents a consortium of scientists from institutions located in the Northeast United States who collaborate to research and develop new or improved therapeutic, vaccine, or diagnostic products that can be used by the public health community.  CHHS is an academic consulting agency with expertise in developing and testing policies and procedures for domestic and international public health and emergency preparedness entities.
 
CONFERENCE LOCATION
Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center
9630 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
 
CONFERENCE AGENDA (media invited to cover throughout the day – please RSVP to dlueking@law.umaryland.edu):
Monday February 10, 2014
 
8:15 a.m.
Welcome, Opening Remarks & Panel 1 Introductions
 
Earl Stoddard, PhD, MPH
Public Health Program Manager, University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security
 
8:30 a.m.
Panel 1
Legal and Policy Issues around Dual Use Research of Concern
 
Michael Greenberger, JD
Founder and Director, University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, University of Maryland – Baltimore
 
Ryan Burnette, PhD
Director, Alliance Biosciences
 
Diane DiEuliis, PhD
Deputy Director for Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
 
Harvey Rubin, PhD
Director, Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response (ISTAR), University of Pennsylvania
 
11:30 a.m.
Keynote Address
 
J. Patrick Fitch, PhD
Director, National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center & President, Battelle National Biodefense Institute
 
1:30 p.m.
Panel 2
Operationalizing Oversight and Communication
 
Tom Leonard, PhD
Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Biosafety Officer, and Select Agents Responsible Official, University of Virginia
 
Julien Farland, MS, RBP
Director of Biological Safety, Community Initiatives Bureau, Boston Public Health Commission
 
Beth Willis
Chair, Containment Laboratory Community Advisory Committee (CLCAC) – Frederick, MD
 
4:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
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