Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Center for the Study of WMD Spotlight Seminar: Coronavirus and Biosecurity

March 12, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus is the latest global health crisis to capture the headlines and the fears of the world. With daily updates from health officials, there is both a surfeit of information and plenty of misinformation about the disease, its spread, and its origin.

Please join us at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction March Spotlight Seminar on “Coronavirus and Biosecurity.” The panel will feature experts in the fields of bioterrorism, biosurveillance, and infectious disease who can provide timely context for the outbreak. Panelists will assess the response to the public health emergency by the United States and China and discuss what this novel coronavirus may teach us for future natural and intentional biological events.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact the CSWMD Admin staff at or call 202-433-6382.


Dr. Gigi Gronvall is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is an immunologist by training. Dr. Gronvall’s work at the Center for Health Security addresses the role of scientists in health security—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. Dr. Gronvall is the author of the books Synthetic Biology: Safety, Security, and Promise and Preparing for Bioterrorism: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Leadership in Biosecurity.

Dr. Noreen Hynes has more than 40 years of medical and public health experience in both international and domestic settings. She is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, tropical medicine, and epidemiology. Prior to her medical education, Dr. Hynes served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, followed by serving as a Foreign Service Officer in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, and then received a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University. After earning a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Hynes completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. As a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Hynes’ duty stations included Atlanta (Epidemic Intelligence Service), Colorado, Arkansas, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Following the events of late 2001, she served as senior advisor to the Vice President of the United States for Medicine and Public Health (Homeland Security). Prior to retirement from government service in 2007, Dr. Hynes was the deputy assistant secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and the director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures (now the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – BARDA) at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Since 1997, Dr. Hynes has been a part-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She directs the Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases and serves as the associate medical director of the Biocontainment Unit of the Johns Hopkins Hospital — a unit focused on the care of patients with high consequence pathogens, such as Ebola. At the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Hynes co-directs the infectious diseases concentration in the master of public health program and co-teaches a course focused on the science, public health and policy aspects of chemical and biological weapons. Her research focuses on vaccine-preventable diseases, tropical diseases, zoonotic infections, and high consequence pathogens.

Dr. Rohit Chitale joined DARPA as a program manager in 2019. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist with more than 20 years of experience helping national and international organizations establish and lead programs related to infectious disease prevention and eradication, with specific expertise in the design and implementation of disease surveillance systems and the development of new disease control tools. Before coming to DARPA, Dr. Chitale co-established the Global Disease Detection Operations Center at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first event-based all-hazards surveillance unit at the CDC. He also served as the CDC Country Director in the Republic of South Sudan. In a prior role at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), he established and led the Division of Integrated Biosurveillance within the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to address capability gaps in DoD biosurveillance and global health security operations. In that role, he led efforts to integrate syndromic, case-based, and event-based disease surveillance systems across civilian, military, and veteran populations to decrease the time to disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment. While at DoD, he helped write the Global Health Security Agenda legislation. Previously, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Chitale co-created The MENTOR Initiative — a public-private partnership designed to test and evaluate (pre-clinical, Phase I, II, and III trials) new vector-borne disease control technologies.


March 12, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
Event Category:
Event Tags:


National Defense University
View Organizer Website


National Defense University
300 5th Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20319 United States