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Threat-Agnostic Biodefense: Assessing the Zoonotic Risk of Pre-emergent Viruses

February 20 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will host a webinar on “Assessing the Zoonotic Risk of Pre-emergent Viruses” on 20 February 2024 as part of the the Advancing Threat Agnostic Biodefense Webinar Series.

These webinars bring together like-minded science and policy members of the biodefense community to discuss relevant research activities as well as barriers and enablers of a threat agnostic approach.

Featured speaker: Tony Goldberg, PhD, Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Exploration of the “virosphere” is in its golden age. The sheer number of new viruses discovered daily, and the fact that most cannot be cultured, creates enormous about where to allocate attention and resources. It is not an intractable problem, however, to distinguish those few viruses that are likely to emerge as zoonoses from the many others that are not.

This talk describes two diametric approaches to addressing this problem. The first approach involves a field-to-lab investigative methodology that, when combine with biologically informed predictive computational models, can assess the zoonotic risk of viruses that have not yet been identified in humans.

The second approach relies on the power of modern methods in anthropology and ethnography to identify zoonotic transmission pathways, even before the identification of any pathogens that might traverse those pathways. A unifying example is simian hemorrhagic fever virus and its relatives in the family Arteriviridae, which cause important animal diseases but have never been documented to infect humans. Both approaches identify these viruses as high-risk pre-emergent zoonoses.

Please visit PNNL for more information and to register.


February 20
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PST


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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