Spotlight Seminar: Who Owns Smallpox? The Nagoya Protocol and Smallpox Virus Retention


This seminar will address legal ownership over the world's remaining smallpox virus samples stored in high-security laboratories in the United States and Russian Federation. While the United States and Russia have functional control over these samples, viruses are within the scope of an environmental conservation treaty that provides a legal basis for countries to claim sovereignty over their genetic resources. Michelle Rourke, a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University's O'Neill Institute for Domestic and Global Health Law, will discuss questions of legal authority over who is allowed to use smallpox samples and for what purposes.