Biosecurity and Global Health
Biosecurity and global health issues will heavily impact global security in the coming decades and pose important challenges for international cooperation. The relationship between bioengineering and international security is attracting increased interest among scholars and policymakers alike. CISAC's co-director, Dr. David Relman, is a Stanford microbiologist and professor of infectious diseases and has advised the U.S. government on pathogen diversity, dual-use technology and biosecurity. He is the current president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Megan Palmer, a bioengineer and a William J. Perry Fellow at CISAC, is researching the complex governance challenges accompanying the rapid increase in global access to biotechnology. David Lazarus, a policy adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the inaugural food and international security fellow at CISAC and its partner, the Center for Food Security and the Environment.
Humanity is undergoing a revolution in the life sciences and their associated technologies, with expanding capabilities and insights, rapidly diminishing costs and easier access to technology. Yet, along with these potential benefits come risks, such as the accidental or deliberate release of biological agents that arise from natural and man-made origins. Scenarios that seemed unimaginable only 10 years ago are now based in reality and could potentially harm millions of people.
Some of the cutting-edge research being conducted in this area includes:
The impact of emerging infectious diseases on society and governments;
The risk of misusing the emerging life sciences;
The social and political factors that have promoted drug-resistant antibiotics, leading to an impoverished pipeline of new drugs;
Examining the ethical responsibilities of life scientists and how these should be defined and potentially regulated;
And the challenges of anticipating and pre-empting the misuse of biotechnology by those who wish to do harm.
Other experts working on these issues include Chris Chyba, a former CISAC co-director, who has done seminal work on bioterrorism and biosecurity and how deterrence theory might be applicable to defense against bioweapons. Herbert Abrams, an emeritus professor of radiology and a CISAC faculty member, focuses on the biological effects of low-level radiation.
The 5 most recent are displayed. More publications »
- Our Red Lines and Theirs
Benjamin Buch, Scott D. Sagan
Foreign Policy (2013)
- Dual Surface-Functionalized Janus Nanocomposites for Simultaneous Tumor Cell Targeting and Stimulus-Induced Drug Release
Feng Wang, Giovanni M. Pauletti, Juntao Wang, Jiaming Zhang, Rodney C. Ewing, Yilong Wang, Donglu Shi
Advanced Materials vol. 25 (2013)
- Disowning Fukushima: Managing the credibility of nuclear reliability assessment in the wake of disaster
Regulation & Governance (2013)
- Analyzing Screening Policies for Childhood Obesity
Yan Yang, Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, Lawrence M. Wein
Management Science vol. 59, 4 (2013)
- The Increasingly Compelling Moral Responsibilities of Life Scientists
Hastings Center Report vol. 43, 2 (2013)
Events & Presentations
Only 5 recent/upcoming are displayed. More events & presentations »
- Is Nipah virus a threat to global security?
April 14, 2014 CISAC Science Seminar
Stephen P. Luby
- What is synthetic biology and why does it matter?
February 24, 2014 CISAC Science Seminar
Audio transcript available
- What's out there? Microbial diversity, security, and the public health
October 14, 2013 CISAC Science Seminar
Audio transcript available
- A New Paradigm for Engaging the War on Infectious Diseases
April 29, 2013 CISAC Science Seminar
- The Hazards of Low Level Ionizing Radiation: Controversy and Evidence
March 12, 2013 Panel Discussion
Herbert L. Abrams