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22.08.2010 13:33


By: NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities

An international, interactive webcast, titled "Does Your Research Raise Security Concerns? Strategies for Promoting Responsible Research in the Life Sciences," will focus on dual use life science research issues.


An international, interactive webcast, titled "Does Your Research Raise Security Concerns? Strategies for Promoting Responsible Research in the Life Sciences," will focus on dual use life science research issues.

Advances in the life sciences have the potential to transform our world.  From the discovery of novel antimicrobial compounds to the emerging technologies of synthetic biology, scientific advances will lead to new approaches to address human health and environmental and agricultural challenges. Dual use research includes technologies that hold immense promise but could be misused to pose a threat to public health and national and international security.

This webcast is the second in a series of regional webcasts. This event focuses on Europe with the goal of enhancing global dialogue on issues related to dual use life sciences research. Questions will be submitted electronically to the panel of experts from webcast participants, who are anticipated to be individuals who are engaged in or have an interest in life sciences research.

The webcast is sponsored by the U.S. government and hosted by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), in partnership with the European Molecular Biology Organization, the European Science Foundation, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and the Pasteur Institute.  NSABB is federal advisory committee that advises the NIH director, the HHS secretary and other government departments, agencies and offices that conduct, support or have an interest in the life sciences on dual use research issues.

The Acting NIH Associate Director for Science Policy, members of NSABB and European and American scientists and policy experts will present and discuss concepts and examples of dual use research and strategies for management in the context of research on antimicrobial resistance and synthetic biology.

Presenters include:

  • David R. Franz, D.V.M., Ph.D. , vice president and chief biological scientist  at the Midwest Research Institute in Frederick, Md .
  • Andrzej Gorski, M.D., vice president of the Polish Academy of Sciences and chair of the InterAcademy Panel Working Group on Biosecurity in Warsaw, Poland
  • Professor Dr. Oscar P. Kuipers, Molecular Genetics Group at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands
  • Stuart B. Levy, M.D., director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance and professor of molecular biology, microbiology and medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston
  • Amy P. Patterson, M.D., acting director of the Office of Science Policy within the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
  • David A. Relman, M.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif.

Discussion facilitators will include staff from the World Health Organization, the European Commission and others with policy and scientific journal expertise.

Wednesday, September 22, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM EDT

To participate in the webcast go to: The webcast will be archived at this link after the live, interactive event is completed.

To learn more about the issue of dual use life science research, please view the educational video available at

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit