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Based on demand from government leaders, health agencies, and health security experts we implement projects that provide independent research to identify potential threats and develop evidence-based policy advice on potential ways to avoid or solve global health security risks.

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Technologies to Address Global Catastrophic Biological Risks

This project is an exploration of extant and emerging technologies that have the potential to radically alter the trajectory of Global Catastrophic Biological Risks (GCBR). Through extensive research and interviews with internationally recognized experts in the field, the Center will identify technologies that, with strategic investment over the next decade, might significantly reduce these severe human, animal and plant infectious disease events that pose a catastrophic risk to humanity.

Traditional approaches to early identification, surveillance, and response in epidemics are often too slow or limited in scope to prevent disease from spreading and having serious consequences for affected populations. Consequently, technological interventions to address GCBRs will need to improve disease detection, surveillance, and characterization, and increase response speed and global response reach to help avoid the emergence and geographic spread and/or reduce severity.

The Center will look for emerging technologies as well as those already in wide use for other purposes but have not yet been directed at the problem of severe infectious disease emergencies. Technologies will be of interest if they address any stage of a GCBR event; however, the project’s primarily focus is identifying technologies that can be applied to mitigate the impact of a severe pandemic once the pandemic is underway.

Project team lead: Crystal Watson, DrPH, MPH; Matthew Watson; Tara Kirk Sell, PhD, MA

Project team: Caitlin Rivers, PhD; Matthew Shearer, MPH; Christopher Hurtado, MHS

Project supported by: Open Philanthropy Project

Date completed: Oct. 9, 2018



Our Mission

To protect people’s health from epidemics and disasters and ensure that communities are resilient to major challenges.