Upcoming Professional Speaker Events

To give students an idea of what a career in biosecurity looks like, we host a series of professional speaker events. These usually happen virtually, and are open to the public.

An Introduction to Biological Risks and Biosecurity and Biosafety Policy

Elika Somani

October 11th, 2023 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This talk will introduce different types of biological risks and related governance needs. It will dive deeply into the various U.S. government and international policies governing biological and biosafety risks. It will also cover various opportunities and pathways for individuals from any academic and professional backgrounds to get involved in mitigating biological threats.

Elika is a fellow in the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) researching dual-use ethics, oversight, and risks. She particularly focuses on risks and governance needs from emerging technologies. She has a background in global health and outbreak response.

Learn more about the speaker here.

Biosecurity Policy Careers: How to Explore this Space, and Build Relevant Career Capital

October 25th, 2023 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Learn more about the speaker here.

Poop, Privacy, and Pandemic Prediction: SARS-CoV-2 cryptic lineages and hyperlocal wastewater testing

William Vuyk

November 8th, 2023 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

As COVID-19 PCR testing rates have dropped, wastewater monitoring has shown promise as a way to continue to track the transmission and evolution of the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2. In fact, some SARS-CoV-2 viruses so far found only in wastewater (called 'cryptic lineages') may help us better understand how SARS-CoV-2 can make large evolutionary leaps, like those that gave rise to the Omicron variant. However, as wastewater testing and sequencing efforts become more advanced, conducting these investigations in an ethical manner is of paramount importance.

Will Vuyk graduated from UW Madison in 2022 with majors in biology and history. He now works as a research specialist in the David O'Connor Lab studying the detection and genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2.

Learn more about the speaker here.