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An international scientific meeting to discuss the practice and policy of H5N1 research, with a programme of talks and discussions organised by Professor John Skehel FRS and Professor Simon Wain-Hobson.
The journals Nature and Science have recently received papers from two teams of researchers showing that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that could spread rapidly among a human population. Various national and international bodies have expressed concern that the safety and security of both the research worker and wider society needs to be considered before work of this kind is published in full. Set against this is the basic principle of openness in science: scientists should operate openly and publish their findings. This conference will discuss virus research, and the safety, security, and ethical aspects from the perspectives of researchers, publishers, policymakers and funders.
Biographies of the organisers and speakers are available below and you can also download the programme (PDF). Video recordings of the presentations are available in the outline below.
Organised by the Royal Society in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Foundation for Vaccine Research with support from the American Society for Microbiology, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fondation Mérieux, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Institut Pasteur, and the Society for General Microbiology.
Sir John Skehel FMedSci FRS, MRC National Institute for Medical ResearchOrganiser
Professor Simon Wain-HobsonOrganiser
Simon Wain Hobson did his thesis work in biophysics at the University of Oxford. He has been at the Institut Pasteur since 1980 and his most widely known for his work on the molecular biology of HIV publishing first the sequence in 1985, which turned out to be that of the first primate lentivirus. The enormous genetic plasticity of the virus provided enormous insights into how and where the virus was replicating in vivo. He is holder of licensed patents concerning HIV genomes and diagnostics. Exploiting the theme of genetic editing, he has moved on to cancer research and the role of the APOBEC3 DNA mutators in cancer and other human diseases. He was a professor at 43 and is a member of EMBO and Academia Europaea and is an Officier de la l’Legion d’Honneur. He is a laureate of the André Lwoff and the Athena prizes. In 2010 he co-founded Invectys, a biotech company dedicated to cancer vaccination.
WelcomeWelcome by Sir John Skehel FMedSci FRS and Professor Simon Wain-Hobson
Professor Robert Webster FRSAvian and human H5N1 epidemiology and epizoonosis
Robert G Webster is a Professor in the Division of Virology; Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and holds the Rose Marie Thomas Chair. A New Zealander whose interests include the emergence and control of influenza viruses, viral immunology, the structure and function of influenza virus proteins and the development of new vaccines and antivirals. Together with Graeme Laver he developed one of the first subunit vaccines for influenza that is still being produced in Australia. The major focus of his research is the importance of influenza viruses in wild aquatic birds as a major reservoir of influenza viruses and their role in the evolution of new pandemic strains for humans and lower animals. He has played a major role in the emergence of highly pathogenic H5N1 in Asia and its continuing evolution and control strategies. His curriculum vita contains over 600 original articles and reviews on influenza viruses. He has trained many scientists who now contribute to our understanding of the evolution and pathogenesis of influenza.
Fellow of the Royal Society, London, 1989National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 1998 Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Honorary)
Professor Malik Peiris FRSRisk assessing animal influenza viruses for pandemic threat
Malik Peiris is Chair in Virology, School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong and Director of the Centre of Influenza Research. His current research focuses on the virology, evolution, pathogenesis and epidemiology of animal and human influenza and other respiratory viral infections. He has a particular interest in emerging viral infections and in virus infections at the animal-human interface. In 2003, he played a key role in the discovery that a novel coronavirus was the cause of SARS an in defining the virological aspects of this disease.
Professor Hans-Dieter Klenk, Institut für VirologieDeterminants of the pathogenicity of influenza viruses
Hans-Dieter Klenk was born in 1938 in Cologne, Germany. He received his M.D. from the University of Cologne in 1964 and a degree in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen in 1967. From 1967 to 1970 he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. P.W. Choppin at the Rockefeller University in New York. From 1970 to 1985 he held several positions at the Institute of Virology of the University of Giessen. From 1985 to 2007 he was Professor of Virology and Head of the Department of Virology of the University of Marburg where he is now Professor emeritus. His research has focused on the structure and function of enveloped viruses (influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, filoviruses) with special emphasis on the role of viral glycoproteins and RNA polymerase in the infection process, in pathogenesis and in interspezies transmission. He is author of more than 400 scientific publications. Prof. Klenk was President of the Gesellschaft für Virologie and Chairman of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. He serves presently on the International Scientific Board of the Institute of Medical Microbiology of Fudan University, Shanghai, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pasteur Institute of the Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, on the International Scientific Board of the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health of the Chinese Academy of Science, and of the Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center, Atlanta. He is a member of EMBO and of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, Leopoldina. His awards include: Preis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie (1985), Feldberg Lecture, London (1987), Aronson-Preis, Berlin (1989), Shipley Lecture, Harvard Medical School (2003), Robert-Koch-Medal in Gold, Berlin (2006), Ernst-Jung-Medal in Gold, Hamburg (2008), Emil von Behring-Preis, Marburg (2010).
Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka, University of WisconsinTransmission of an influenza virus possessing an H5 hemagglutinin via respiratory droplet in ferrets
Dr Yoshihiro Kawaoka obtained his education in Japan, receiving his DVM in 1978 and his Ph.D. in 1983 from Hokkaido University. Early in his career, he identified the critical determinant for high pathogenicity of avian influenza viruses; this information is now used by the USDA and the Office International des Epizooties (World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE) as a criterion for rapidly identifying lethal and non-lethal avian influenza viruses. Dr. Kawaoka also established reverse genetics, which allows the generation of ‘designer’ influenza viruses. This technology – coupled with his findings regarding the attenuation of deadly influenza viruses – has been used to develop candidate H5N1 influenza virus vaccines, which have proven efficacious in clinical trials. Dr Kawaoka has also undertaken the study of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which killed over 40 million people. He determined that infection by the 1918 virus caused an abnormal immune response. Information uncovered by Dr. Kawaoka is used globally by public health agencies as they undertake the enormous task of influenza pandemic planning.
In addition to his work with influenza virus, Dr Kawaoka also studies Ebola virus. Because of its extreme virulence, Ebola virus had to be studied in laboratories designated as biosafety level 4 (BSL4), the highest containment environment possible. This requirement severely hampered the progress of Ebola virus research, as few such facilities exist worldwide. Dr Kawaoka was the first to establish a pseudotype virus system that allows the analysis of Ebola virus glycoprotein under BSL2 conditions. Recently, Dr Kawaoka developed another system that allows the study of the entire Ebola virus replication cycle under non-BSL4 conditions.
In recognition of his work, in 2006, Dr Kawaoka was awarded the prestigious Robert Koch Award for innovative research in the field of influenza virology.
Dr Ron Fouchier, Erasmus MCAerosol transmission of influenza A/H5N1 virus in ferrets
Ron Fouchier received a PhD in Medicine from the University of Amsterdam in 1995, for his studies on molecular determinants of HIV-1 phenotype variability at the Department of Clinical Viro-immunology, Sanquin Research (with Prof. Frank Miedema and Prof. Hanneke Schuitemaker). He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, from 1995-1998, where he studied the function of the HIV-1 Vif protein, and nuclear transport of HIV-1 pre-integration complexes (with Prof. Michael Malim). He subsequently joined the Department of Virology at Erasmus MC to start a new group studying the molecular biology of respiratory viruses, in particular influenza A virus (with Prof. Ab Osterhaus). As a fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), he studied influenza virus zoonoses and pathogenicity. Recent achievements of his team include the identification and characterization of several "new" viruses; the human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a human coronavirus (hCoV-NL), the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and a new influenza A virus subtype (H16). Currently, his research is focused on the evolution and molecular biology of respiratory viruses in humans and animals, with special emphasis on influenza virus zoonoses and pandemics. Ron Fouchier is an alumni member of the "Young Academy" of the KNAW and a recipient of the Heine-Medin award of the European Society for Clinical Virology. He is an author of more than 200 publications that received more than 15000 citations. His current research is funded by an NWO VICI grant, an NIAID/NIH contract, several EU programs, and government. Fouchier is an editor for several high-ranked journals in infectious diseases, and member of advisory committees for Dutch government and (international) scientific organisations and conferences. His group is part of an NIH/NIAID Center of Excellence for Influenza Research, and participates in several WHO working groups.
Dr Paul Keim, Northern Arizona UniversityNSABB policy, processes and recommendations on communicating H5N1 research
Dr. Paul S. Keim (Ph.D.) holds the E. Raymond and Ruth Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at Northern Arizona University, where is also a Regents Professor of Biology. In addition, he directs the Pathogen Genomics Division at The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Both institutions are based in Flagstaff Arizona. His biological interests span many types of organisms and microbes, but revolve around genetic diversity and its organization in populations and species. This necessarily has involved systematic and phylogenetic analyses to understand how observable genetic diversity is based upon past evolutionary processes. He has published extensively on the evolution and population genetics of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, Brucella spp., and Coxiella burnetii. His evolutionary genomics has formed the core of the discipline of microbial forensics. Recently, these same principles have been applied to other public health and clinically important pathogens such as S. aureus and E. coli. He is a founding member of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) and has been the acting board chairman since 2010.
Professor Kenneth Berns, American Society for MicrobiologyThe ASM perspective on DURC
Dr Thomas Inglesby, Centre for Biosecurity of UPMCOur common goal: protecting public health from avian flu
Dr. Inglesby is Director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The mission of the Center is to increase resilience to natural and deliberate biological dangers and other large-scale catastrophes. Since becoming Director in 2009, he has expanded and deepened the Center’s expertise related to public health threats, stablishing new initiatives in emerging infectious diseases and natural disasters, as well as preparedness for nuclear terrorism and accidents.
Dr. Inglesby’s work is internationally recognized in the fields of public health preparedness, pandemic flu planning, and biosecurity. Dr. Inglesby is Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the US Centers for Disease Control’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. He has been chair or a member of a number of National Academy of Sciencescommittees, and he has served in an advisory capacity to the Defense Science Board, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, and the National Institutes of Health. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences expert committee that reviewed the scientific approaches used during the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letters.
Dr. Inglesby has been invited to brief White House officials from the past 3 presidential administrations on national biosecurity challenges and priorities, and he has delivered Congressional testimony on public health preparedness and biosecurity. Since 1999, Dr. Inglesby has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, reports, and commentaries on a wide range of public health and national security issues. In 2010, he co-authored “Necessary Progress in Biosecurity” with Senator Tom Daschle for the Harvard Law and Policy Review. He is Coeditor-in-Chief of the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism:Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, which he helped to establish in 2003 as the only peer-reviewed journal in its field. In addition, Dr. Inglesby was principal editor of the 2002 JAMA book Bioterrorism: Guidelines for Medical and Public Health Management. He is regularly consulted by major news outlets for his expertise and insight on issues pertaining to biosecurity, pandemic flu planning biodefense, and response to other public health disasters. Dr. Inglesby is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He completed his internal medicine and infectious diseases training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also served as Assistant Chief of Service in 1996-97. Dr. Inglesby received his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and his BA from Georgetown University. He continues to see patients in a weekly HIV clinic.
Professor John Harris FMedSci, University of ManchesterScientific freedom: A two pipe problem with a dual remedy solution
John Harris FMedSci, is Director of The Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation and of the Wellcome Strategic Programme in The Human Body, its Scope Limits and Future, University of Manchester, where is he is Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics. Books Include: Clones Genes and Immortality. Oxford University Press, 1998. John Harris Ed. Bioethics. Oxford Readings in Philosophy Series, Oxford University Press. 2001. Justine C. Burley and John Harris Eds. A Companion To Genethics: philosophy and the genetic revolution. Basil Blackwell, Oxford. 2002. (Blackwell’s Companions to Philosophy series), On Cloning, Routledge. London, 2004. Enhancing Evolution was published by Princeton University Press in 2007.
Dr Ross Upshur, University of TorontoFour normative stances for the management of dual use technologies
Ross Upshur received BA (Hons.) and MA degrees in philosophy before receiving his MD from McMaster University in 1986. After 7 years of rural primary care practice he returned to complete his MSc in epidemiology and fellowship training in Community Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. He is a staff physician at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Upshur is the Canada Research Chair in Primary Care Research. At the University of Toronto he is a Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Adjunct Scientist at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, an affiliate of the Institute of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and a member of the Centre for Environment. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences and Associate Member of the Institute of Environment and Health at McMaster University. He is a member of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. From 2006-2011, he was the Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. His research interests include the concept of evidence in health care, medical epistemology, clinical reasoning, public health ethics (particularly communicable disease control), empirical approaches in bioethics, primary care research in aging and complex chronic disease, time series applications in health services research, communicable disease and environmental epidemiology. He has over 250 publications including more than 150 peer reviewed publications spanning these domains.
At the University of Toronto, he has designed and taught courses in the graduate, post graduate and undergraduate curriculum in ethics, epidemiology and the philosophy of medicine as well as supervising and co supervising over 70 graduate students and post graduate research students. He is a clinical supervisor in the post graduate Family Medicine Residency program, having been core supervisor for 16 postgraduate trainees in family medicine. He has been active on Advisory Boards for the International Joint Commission, Doctors Without Borders, and Scidev.net, several medical journals and consulted with the World Health Organization and the Grand Challenges in Global Health.
Professor Paul Berg ForMemRS, Stanford UniversityAsilomar: reflections on an earlier episode in biosafety (videoconference)
Paul Berg is currently Cahill Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus. He was born in New York City in 1926, received an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University. He joined the faculty of the Stanford School of Medicine in 1959. Professor Berg was awarded the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980 for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids and the development of the recombinant DNA technology. He has received the U.S. National Medal of Science, is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Sir Gordon Duff FMedSci, Sheffield UniversityResponse to H5N1 and H1N1, expérience of the 2009 pandemic
Gordon Duff graduated in Medicine from St Peter’s College, Oxford, and St Thomas’s Hospital, London, where he also gained a PhD in Neuropharmacology. He held junior faculty positions at Yale University and the Hughes Institute of Molecular Immunology at Yale before joining the Edinburgh Medical School in1984. In 1990 took up his present post of Florey Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sheffield University where he was Research Dean of the Faculty and Director of the Division of Genomic Medicine. He currently chairs the Academic Health Sciences Centre of Trinity College Dublin, and the International SAB of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Sciences at Liverpool.
Previously Chairman of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and its Biological Sub-committee, he has been Chairman of the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) since 2005. In 2006 he chaired the Secretary-of-State’s Expert Scientific Group on Phase One Clinical Trials, following the disaster at Northwick Park Hospital. From 2002 to 2009 he was also Chairman of the National Biological Standards Board, overseeing the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. He is an advisor on Biological Medicines to the EU, and Chairman of the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee (SPI). In 2009-10, he co-chaired, with Govt Chief Scientist, the Cabinet Office’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the pandemic flu outbreak. In 2010 he reviewed the UK’s Organ Donor Register at the request of the Secretary-of-State. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and London (Croonian Lecturer), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2007 he received a Knighthood for services to public health.
Dr Philip Campbell, NatureA publishing and editing perspective
Dr. Philip Campbell is Editor-in-Chief of Nature and of the Nature Publishing Group. His areas of responsibility include the editorial content and management of Nature, and assuring the long-term quality of all Nature publications. He is based in London.
He has a BSc in aeronautical engineering, an MSc in astrophysics and a PhD and postdoctoral research in upper atmospheric physics. Following his research, he became the Physical Sciences Editor of Nature and then, in 1988, the founding editor of Physics World, the international magazine of the UK Institute of Physics. He returned to Nature to take on his current role in 1995.
He has worked with the UK Office of Science and Innovation, the European Commission and the US National Institutes of Health on issues relating to science and its impacts in society. He is a trustee of Cancer Research UK. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and was awarded an honorary DSc by Leicester University and Bristol University, and an Honorary Professorship by the Peking Union Medical College. He is an Associate of Clare Hall, Cambridge University.
Dr Bruce Alberts, ScienceH5N1 decisions: some important lessons learned
Bruce Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Science and as one of President Obama’s first three Science Envoys. Alberts is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
During his tenure at the NAS, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. The type of “science as inquiry” teaching we need, says Alberts, emphasizes “logical, hands-on problem solving, and it insists on having evidence for claims that can be confirmed by others. It requires work in cooperative groups, where those with different types of talents can discover them – developing self confidence and an ability to communicate effectively with others.”
Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a preeminent textbook in the field now in its fifth edition. For the period 2000 to 2009, he served as the co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, a new organization in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and that was established to provide scientific advice to the world. Committed in his international work to the promotion of the “creativity, openness and tolerance that are inherent to science,” Alberts believes that “scientists all around the world must now band together to help create more rational, scientifically-based societies that find dogmatism intolerable.”
Widely recognized for his work in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees. He currently serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Sir John Savill FMedSci, Medical Research CouncilH5N1 – a funders perspective
Professor Sir John Savill BA, MBChB, PhD, FRCP, FRCPE, FASN, FMedSci, FRSE, a clinician scientist from Edinburgh, took up the position as chief executive and deputy chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) on 1 October 2010. The appointment is for three years. He was a member of the MRC Council from 2002 to 2008 and chaired two MRC Research Boards during this period.
Between 2008 and 2010 John worked part-time as the chief scientist for the Scottish Government Health Directorates. He was knighted in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to clinical science.
John started his research career with a degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University in 1978, followed by degrees in Medicine at the University of Sheffield in 1981. He received a PhD from the University of London in 1989.
After junior hospital appointments in Sheffield, Nottingham and London, he spent seven years in the Department of Medicine at Hammersmith Hospital with spells as an MRC clinical training fellow and Wellcome Trust senior clinical research fellow.
In 1993, he moved to the chair of Medicine, at the University of Nottingham, then in 1998 became professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he was the first director of the University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, directing a group interested in the molecular cell biology of renal inflammation.
In 2002, John was appointed as the first vice-principal and head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. He retains an ongoing, research active involvement with the University of Edinburgh part-time throughout his appointment as MRC chief executive.
Dr Jeffrey Almond FMedSci, Sanofi PasteurVaccine options: industry perspective
Jeffrey Almond is the Head of Discovery Research and External R&D at Sanofi Pasteur, the largest manufacturer of human vaccines, and is based in Lyon, France. In his present role, he is responsible for Sanofi Pasteur’s portfolio of exploratory projects aimed at providing pre-clinical proof-of-concept for a range of human vaccine targets. He also identifies and assesses opportunities for external collaboration on vaccine targets and relevant technologies.Before joining Sanofi Pasteur in 1999, Jeffrey Almond was Professor of Microbiology at the University of Reading, UK, and served in various offices including chairman of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies, and international secretary for the Society for General Microbiology and member of the UK governmental Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee. He is currently a member of Council of the Medical Research Council, and an elected fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.
He has published numerous articles in the field of Microbiology especially on influenza and picornaviruses, HIV and vaccines.
Laurie Garrett, Global Health Council on Foreign RelationsH5N1, the public, public health and public trust
Laurie Garrett is currently the Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Garrett is the only writer ever to have been awarded all three of the Big "Ps" of journalism: The Peabody, The Polk and The Pulitzer. Garrett is also the best-selling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. Her most recent book is I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks. During her time as Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Garrett has written several reports and articles including: HIV and National Security: Where are the Links?, A Council Report (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2005); ‘The Next Pandemic?’ (Foreign Affairs, July/August 2005); ‘The Lessons of HIV/AIDS’ (Foreign Affairs, July/August 2005); and ‘The Challenge of Global Health’ (Foreign Affairs, January/February 2007), The Future of Foreign Assistance Amid Global Economic and Financial Crisis, A Council on Foreign Relations Action Plan (2009); ‘Castrocare in Crisis’ (Foreign Affairs, July/August 2010). Garrett is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and served as the organization’s President during the mid-1990s. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Noguchi Prize, François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, and the Health Worker Global Policy Advisory Group, and is a Principal Member of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN). Garrett also chairs the Scientific Advisory Panel to the United Nations High Level Commission on HIV Prevention in collaboration with UNAIDS. She is an expert on global health with a particular focus on newly emerging and re-emerging diseases, bioterrorism, public health and its effects on foreign policy and national security
David Brown, Washington PostDoomsday virus or no big deal; view from the newsroom
David Brown, a journalist and physician, has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1991. He has covered medical research, the AIDS epidemic, clinical practice, medical ethics, epidemiology, global health, and numerous non-medical scientific subjects. He majored in American Studies at Amherst College, graduating in 1973. He worked as a reporter at The Greenwood (Miss.) Commonwealth and The Baltimore Sun before entering the Medical College of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1987. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland. He works four days a week at the Postand a day at a general internal medicine clinic in Baltimore supervising medical residents.
Bruce SchneierCybersecurity, scientific data and public trust
Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, referred to by The Economist as a "security guru." He is the author of 12 books - including his latest best-seller Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive -- as well as hundreds of articles and essays, and many more academic papers. His influential newsletter "Crypto-Gram," and his blog "Schneier on Security," are read by over 250,000 people. He has testified before Congress, is a frequent guest on television and radio, served on several government technical committees, and is regularly quoted in the press. Schneier is the Chief Security Technology Officer of BT.
Open floor discussion
Professor Peter Doherty FRS, The University of MelbourneObservations
Peter Doherty has analysed aspects of viral pathogenesis and immunity for more than four decades, with his major focus over the past 20 years being on the influenza A viruses. He has the privilege of working with two groups of bright young people, at the University of Melbourne and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis. These research programs are probing aspects of the innate response and pathology, and the basics of CD8+ T cell recognition, effector function and memory. He is also involved in the public communication of science, and will publish two “lay” books that deal principally with infection and pandemics later this year
Professor Arthur Caplan, University of PennsylvaniaObservations
Currently, the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. As of July 1 he will become the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.Prior to coming to Penn in 1994, Caplan taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He was the Associate Director of the Hastings Center from 1984-1987.
Born in Boston, Caplan did his undergraduate work at Brandeis University, and did his graduate work at Columbia University where he received a Ph.D in the history and philosophy of science in 1979.
Caplan is the author or editor of thirty books and over 550 papers in refereed journals. His most recent books are Smart Mice Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006) and the Penn Guide to Bioethics (Springer, 2009).
He has served on a number of national and international committees including as the Chair, National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group; the Chair of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning; the Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability; a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses; the special advisory committee to the International Olympic Committee on genetics and gene therapy; the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy and the special advisory panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects. He recently served as the Co-Director of the Joint Council of Europe/United Nations Study on Trafficking in Organs and Body Parts. He is currently the ethics advisor to DOD/DARPA on synthetic biology.
He is a member of the board of directors of The Franklin Institute, the Iron Disorders Foundation and a member of the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Ethics Committee. He is on the Board of Visitors of the Columbia University School of Nursing.
Caplan writes a regular column on bioethics for MSNBC.com. He is a monthly commentator on bioethics and health care issues for WebMD/Medscape. He appears frequently as a guest and commentator on various other national and international media outlets.
Caplan is the recipient of many awards and honors including the McGovernMedal of the American Medical Writers Association and the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia. He received the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics for 2011. He was a person of the Year-2001 from USA Today. He was described as one of the ten most influential people in science by Discover magazine in 2008. He has also been honored as one of the fifty most influential people in American health care by Modern Health Care magazine, one of the ten most influential people in America in biotechnology by the National Journal, one of the ten most influential people in the ethics of biotechnology by the editors of Nature Biotechnology.
He holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, the NY Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Closing remarksClosing remarks by the scientific organisers, Professor John Skehel FMedSci FRS and Professor Simon Wain-Hobson
Book prize event 6 Mar
History of science lecture 7 Mar
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