About Stanford Biosecurity
The Problem and the Threat
Biosecurity is our collective responsibility to safeguard the population from dangers presented by pathogenic microbes, whether intentionally released or naturally occurring.
-- Rear Admiral Kenneth Bernard, MD, USPHS (Ret.), Former Special Assistant on BioSecurity to the Presidents Clinton and Bush Jr.
The recent Ebola epidemic highlighted the challenges involved in trying to control an infectious disease outbreak and demonstrated the need to be prepared for infectious disease disasters.
Furthermore, the discovery of viable 60-year old smallpox samples in Maryland was a shocking wake-up to the biosecurity community. Concurrently, the federal Centers for Disease Control announced serious breaches of lab safety and security involving dangerous pathogens including anthrax and bird flu. Not since the anthrax attacks of 2001 has the issue of biosecurity been so clearly thrust into the limelight, gaining the attention of researchers, policy makers, and Congress.
Advances in biotechnology are becoming widely commercially available and less costly, thus lowering the barriers to the use of these technologies for nefarious purposes and increasing the possibility of intentional or unintentional infectious disease outbreaks.
Given the above challenges we at Stanford believe in mobilizing our community locally, nationally and internationally in creating practical solutions to answer these pressing needs in order protect our nation and the world from the infectious disease disasters.
Our Goals and Approach
Biosecurity is a complex problem which requires interdisciplinary solutions. Stanford Biosecurity brings together experts in biology, technology development, healthcare, public health, disaster management, engineering, policy and other fields to educate and inspire future leaders of this field and to advocate for and facilitate creation of solutions to current biosecurity challenges.
The BioSecurity Interdisciplinary Forum is instrumental in furthering education, research, advocacy, and technological innovation in the field of BioSecurity.
Stanford Biosecurity develops biosecurity leaders by focusing on skills, knowledge and networks to move ideas into action and support informed decision-making.
Training future leaders who have the knowledge and ability to effectively communicate across science, technology, policy, business, healthcare, and disaster management sectors will enhance our ability to come up with practical global biosecurity solutions.
Examples of proposed Biosecurity Educational programs include:
Biosecurity Certificate Program/Professional Development Certificate Program
Biosecurity Seminar Series
Facilitating Biosecurity Internships and Fellowships for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students
Research and Technological Innovation
Stanford Biosecurity facilitates research and technology development relevant to tackling major biosecurity challenges. It helps by bringing together scholars from Stanford and other academic institutions and connecting them with leaders from government, non-governmental organizations and business to develop practical solutions to current biosecurity needs.
The promising technologies can be connected to relevant Stanford technology incubators and organizations, relevant government agencies, funders, and industry partners.
Stanford Biosecurity strives to help public and private sector leaders and other stakeholders to better understand the impact of scientific advances on biosecurity threats and the use of science and innovation to address complex interdisciplinary issues in biosecurity. The goal of this effort is to enhance problem-solving for better biosecurity policies and management practices.