News | Nov. 4, 2015

Biosecurity in Southeast Asia: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy

By Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Date:   Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Time:  12:30 PM –2:00 PM

Southeast Asia is particularly vulnerable to naturally occurring or intentional biosecurity threats due to the region’s high population density and volume of cross-border traffic, the activities of known terrorist networks, and the close proximity of humans and animals enabling the spread of infectious diseases. How do the United States and its partners in Southeast Asia approach the risk of biological threats? What types of biosurveillance systems are in place to detect natural or deliberate biological threats? What can be learned from past experience and current biosecurity engagement programs to improve preparedness and response efforts? The center held a discussion with Dr. Gigi Gronvall and Ms. Anita Cicero of the UPMC Center for Health Security, who shared their findings from the first meeting in 2015 of a multilateral biosecurity dialogue between the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The WMD Center’s Dr. Seth Carus moderated.

Gigi Gronvall, PhD, is a Senior Associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security and an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health. She is an immunologist by training and author of the book Preparing for Bioterrorism: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Leadership in Biosecurity.

Anita Cicero, JD, is the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director of the UPMC Center for Health Security, where she focuses on biosecurity policy, pandemic preparedness, nuclear and radiological consequence management, biosurveillance, international disease surveillance, and public health law.

Seth Carus, PhD, is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University’s WMD Center. His research focuses on issues related to biological warfare, including threat assessment, biodefense, and the role of the Department of Defense in responding to biological agent use.