Dr. Gigi Gronvall, associate professor in the department of environmental health and engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, has been awarded a $303,346 grant from the United States Air Force Academy’s Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC), to continue facilitating a bilateral dialogue that brings together U.S. and Indian senior leaders to examine the biosecurity threat landscapes of their respective countries.
The one-year grant supports two participant meetings — one in the United States, one in India — and a Global Health Security in South Asia conference in Washington, D.C., with experts and stakeholders from the dialogue countries and Pakistan.
Now in its third year, the Center for Health Security’s bilateral dialogue explores the ways India and the United States can collaborate to manage threats posed by biological materials misuse (intentional or accidental), dual-use research, and infectious diseases with pandemic potential. Participants also discuss potential benefits of breakthroughs in biotechnology, which was the focus of the most recent meeting. They pinpoint priorities of mutual concern, identify issues requiring greater government attention, and consider opportunities for joint research efforts.
The Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology is a collaborative partner, having expanded participation in the dialogue and assisted in developing content for meetings. PASCC has funded the dialogue since its inception.
PASCC plans and conducts research studies and strategic dialogues that support the mission of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to counter the full spectrum of threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass effect.
Dr. Gronvall is an immunologist by training whose work addresses the role of scientists in health security and how they can contribute to an effective technical response against a biological weapon or a natural epidemic. She is particularly interested in developing policies that will boost the safety and security of biological science activities while allowing beneficial research to flourish.