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Challenges in Biosecurity

A Scientific and Historical Perspective

Non-ancient history of the use of bioweapons. The scientific/biological aspects of biosecurity including overview of major potential bioterrorism agents, relationship of animal to human viral transmission, molecular forensics and attribution analysis. 


Li Ka Shing Learning & Knowledge Center (LKSC)
291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305

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Li Ka Shing Learning & Knowledge Center (LKSC)

291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305
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Paul Jackson, PhD. Former Division Leader for the Chemical and Biological Countermeasures Division at Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL); currently Senior Scientist in the Global Security and Physical and Life Sciences Directorates; Served on the FBI’s Scientific Working Group for Microbial Forensics

Paul Jackson, PhD: Paul Jackson received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in molecular biology.  For the past 18 years he has been studying bacterial pathogens, first working to develop DNA-based methods of detecting these microbes and their remnants in environmental and laboratory samples, then developing methods to differentiate among different strains of the same pathogenic species.  His methods are currently applied for forensic analysis of samples and aid in identifying the source of disease outbreaks.  He contributed to analysis of the Bacillus anthracis present in the 2001 Amerithrax letters and conducted detailed analyses of human tissue samples preserved from the 1979 Sverdlovsk anthrax outbreak, providing evidence that was inconsistent with claims of a natural anthrax outbreak. 

His current work continues to focus on development of assays that rapidly detect specific signatures including antibiotic resistance in threat agents and other pathogens.  More recent efforts are focused on exploiting genetic information about the pathogens that can be used to develop effective new antimicrobial compounds to combat these microbes. Paul spent 24 years as a Technical Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was heavily involved in development of the biological threat reduction efforts there.  He was appointed a Laboratory Fellow at Los Alamos in recognition of his efforts.  He moved to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 where he is presently Division Leader of the Biosciences and Biotechnology Division and heads the Host Pathogen Biology Group. In addition to his work at the National Laboratories, he served on the FBI’s Scientific Working Group for Microbial Forensics, on NIH study sections and review panels, and on steering and oversight committees for other federal agencies.