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Meeting Report: Prevention of Biothreats--A Look Ahead

Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Nidhi Bouri, Kunal J. Rambhia, Crystal Franco, Matthew Watson
Date posted:
December 22, 2009
Publication type:
Meeting report

Center for Biosecurity of UPMC, October 6, 2009


On October 6, 2009, the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC organized a 1-day conference, “Prevention of Biothreats: A Look Ahead,” in Washington, DC. The conference was hosted in collaboration with the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, and it was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The meeting was attended by more than 150 administration officials, policy analysts, scientists, health leaders, congressional staff members, and members of the media to discuss strategies for countering biological weapons threats.

During the conference, participants discussed a wide range of U.S. government programs, international approaches, and nongovernment efforts aimed at preventing the development and use of biological weapons, including arms control and multilateral agreements; efforts to prevent the unlawful acquisition of materials, equipment, and information; deterrence, intelligence, and surveillance; and improving resilience to biological attacks as a means of dissuasion and prevention.

Given the wide range of activities and professional groups engaged in biothreat prevention efforts, it is rare for the entire community to convene as a single group. This meeting accomplished that—the first step toward generating promising new ideas and directions for biothreat prevention and promoting greater coherence in the biopreparation community.

This summary report was prepared by the staff of the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC to provide a brief synopsis of each day’s panel discussions and individual presentations.



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