Op-Ed — The International Federation of Biosafety Associations: A Stakeholder in the BTWC

Maureen EllisMaureen Ellis
Co-Chair, International Federation of Biosafety Associations
605-170 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 5V5

The International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) is a global community of research scientists, biosafety professionals, laboratory personnel, NGOs, academics and policy makers from around the world who recognize that biosafety and biosecurity are important elements within the framework of biological non-proliferation and strengthening global security. The IFBA’s mission statement (“safe, secure and responsible work with biological materials”) highlights the need to protect and promote global health and security, and lays the foundation for the implementation of strategies to minimize the serious dangers that can arise from the failure to implement sound biosafety and biosecurity practices.   Read More »

Op-Ed – Making Anthrax

Kathleen Vogel, PhD
Associate Professor of Peace Studies and
Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University

“The men and women of the [former Soviet] nuclear, chemical and biological institutes don’t carry automatic weapons in their hands, they possess the knowledge and the ability to develop weapons that could kill millions.”1

—Senator Richard Lugar, 1998


Consisting of dozens of facilities, the vast Soviet biological weapons complex was involved in conducting research on several disease agents, producing them on a large scale, and weaponizing them into a variety of delivery systems. With the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the U.S. and other western countries became concerned that expertise from the Soviet bioweapons program might fall into the wrong hands. In 1991, a new set of U.S. government initiatives, called the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs, was launched to mitigate the WMD proliferation threats from the former Soviet Union. Since the early 1990s, many former Soviet bioweapons scientists have been redirected towards peaceful purposes and new livelihoods. Many of these scientists are now in a position to reflect on their career and life choices that led them to develop deadly Soviet biological weapons.   Read More »

Op-Ed – Enhancing Biosecurity and Biosafety in Bangladesh

Dr. Johnson, Biosafety Biosecurity International

Dr. Asadulghani & Dr. Endtz,
International Centre Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh

Bangladesh, situated in South Asia, has a dense population supported by the rich alluvial soil along the Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta.    In recent years laboratory capacity has grown to meet the needs of diagnosing illnesses and conducting research on endemic and emerging Risk Group 3 and 4 pathogens in humans and animals.   Read More »

Op-Ed – First VBC Graduate Fellow Experience

The following piece was written by Akansha Bhargava, and discusses her experience as the first VBC Graduate Fellow.

Hailing from Brookfield, WI, Akansha Bhargava holds a B.S. in genetics and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a M.S. in biotechnology, with a concentration in biodefense, from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently pursuing a medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.

As the first VBC Graduate Fellow, I had the unique opportunity of working alongside a wonderful team of motivated and engaging individuals. As a relatively, small but highly, productive team, with the fresh feel of a start up, the VBC is a great place for both individual and collaborative work.   Read More »

Op-Ed – More BTWC Education Needed for Life Scientists

Judi Sture, PhD, BSc (Hons) is a member of
Bradford Disarmament Research Centre (BDRC) and Head of the Graduate School of the University of Bradford, UK.

Masamichi Minehata, PhD, MA, is a Research Fellow with Bradford Disarmament Research Centre (BDRC) and has recently completed a Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) Fellowship with the Pacific Forum: Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Hawaii.

  Read More »