Global Security Plus - New approaches to risk analysis in biosecurity.

White PPE image
Event Date

2017 Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, Virginia, USA


In this workshop, we will introduce participants to game-changers in biosecurity, and explore new approaches to risk analysis. We will also cover methods for predictive modeling which can assist in risk analysis and rapid identification of epidemics, as well as tools for differentiating natural and unnatural epidemics. The workshop will be a combination of lectures, interactive case studies, group work and discussion, and will lead participants through the relevant background and new approaches to risk analysis.

No background in health or biology is required.


Faculty include multidisciplinary experts from Global Security Plus, an expert group of the PLuS Alliance between UNSW Sydney, Arizona State University and Kings College London. Their research expertise includes pandemics, biosecurity, law enforcement, bioterrorism, bioinformatics, economics, and risk analysis.


Professionals working in emergency response, defense, law enforcement, health policy in government and non-government agencies. There are no pre-requisites.




8.30am Registration


Introduction to workshop - Dr Sally Kane, UNSW Sydney

Introduction to synthetic genomics, genetic engineering and dual-use research of concern - Prof George Poste, Arizona State University and Global Security PLuS

Current threats in bioterrorism and health security - Prof Raina MacIntyre, UNSW Sydney, Arizona State University and Global Security PLuS

Lessons from smallpox eradication and risk of re-emergence - Prof J Mike Lane, Emory University

Laboratory risk and insider threat - Chief Thomas Engells, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, UNSW Sydney and Global Security PLuS

10.30am Break


A One Health Approach to Population Health Surveillance - A/Prof Matthew Scotch, Arizona State University, UNSW Sydney and Global Security PLuS

Differentiating natural and unnatural epidemics - Prof Raina MacIntyre and A/Prof Matthew Scotch

Risk analysis approaches to gain of function research – case study and small group exercise in calculating risk Protection of first responders from biological threats - Chief Thomas Engells and Prof Raina MacIntyre 

1.00pm Lunch


Data mining and modeling as a tool for biosecurity - A/Prof Kathleen Steinhofel, Department of Informatics, Kings College London

Genetic evolution of pathogens demystified - introduction to phylogenetic risk analysis and phylogeography for the lay person - A/Prof Matthew Scotch

Challenges in tracking trade in biological weapons - Prof George Poste, Chief Thomas Engells and Prof Raina MacIntyre

4.00 pm Wrap-up and Close - Dr Sally Kane, UNSW Sydney