Biothreats Banner black 1230x300

Program by Day

The 2018 ASM Biothreats program will offer expert lectures through a variety of plenary sessions, afternoon symposia, workshops, and poster presentations. 

Sunday, February 11

Pre-Meeting Symposium
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Track: Student/Career

The ASM Biothreats Pre-Meeting Symposium is the only place during the meeting where you will have the opportunity for oral presentations. Best of all, it’s FREE to all ASM Biothreats attendees, and you don’t have to submit an abstract to attend.

ASM Biothreats offers opportunities for networking and interacting with subject matter experts across biological threat reduction, high consequence pathogen research, product development, and policy. If you are interested in attending the Pre-Meeting Symposium, simply check the box for the Pre-Meeting Symposium when registering for ASM Biothreats. Abstract acceptance is not a requirement to attend this FREE symposium; however, registration for the Biothreats meeting is a requirement. 

*Limited lunches will be provided for those who have confirmed their attendance. 


Monday, February 12

Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. 

Keynote – Richard Harris, NPR
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Science Friction: What's Slowing Progress in Biomedicine? 

Details on this Keynote session are forthcoming. 

RichardHarris

Richard Harris

Coffee Break 
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Concurrent Symposia
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Select Agent Toxins: Finding, Dissecting, and Use as Human Therapies

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research 

Bacterial select agents are a subset of biological pathogens and their toxins that the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture have determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. Abrin, botulinum neurotoxins, ricin, and staphylococcal enterotoxins are select agent toxins. Botulinum neurotoxins is also defined as a Tier 1 select agent toxin, presenting the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effect to the economy, critical infrastructure, or public confidence, and pose a severe threat to public health and safety. This session will address current studies on select agent and related toxins, which include bioinformatics approaches to identify novel botulinum neurotoxin variants, catalytic properties of shiga toxin, a relative of ricin, and why botulinum neurotoxins light chains are long lived in neurons.

Beyond the Animal Rule: Licensing MCMs under Alternative Regulatory Strategies

Track: Product Development

The challenges of product licensure using the Animal Rule are well recognized and have slowed product development efforts in many cases. Despite these challenges numerous products have been approved under the Animal Rule. There are however different potential approval pathways for select products that may not have to rely upon the Animal Rule. Speakers in this session will describe development programs that have rely entirely upon non-Animal Rule regulatory pathways or are pushing the boundaries of the Animal Rule.

Exploring the Future of Biodefense in the U.S. 

Track: Policy

In this session, participants will hear from government policy makers and other biodefense experts on the key biodefense needs facing the US. In the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision requires the creation of a new National Biodefense Strategy and implementation plan.

We are the World: Global Approaches to Threat Reduction Through One Health

Track: Biological Threat Reduction

In this session we will explore methods, successes, challenges, and opportunities to biological threat reduction through implementation of the One Health concept.  Panelists will discuss their observations, experiences, lessons learned, and prognostications of threat reduction at the intersection of One Health and health security at the global, regional, national, and sub-national levels.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a lively question & answer session.

Lunch on Own
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Student Career Session
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

*Limited lunches will be provided for those who have confirmed their attendance. 

Concurrent Symposia 
1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

The Intersection of Big Data and Biothreats 

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research 

With the advent of lower cost, high-throughput sequencing there has been the generation of a lot of genomic data for many pathogens. This data can be highly informative in outbreak situations, surveillance, prediction models, as well as for the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics. The integration of big data into these programs has been mostly at the academic level and only recently have there been the integration of large-scale routine genome sequencing into healthcare settings or surveillance activities.

Polyclonal Antibodies: An Essential Element in Addressing Existing and Future Biothreats

Track: Product Development Track

Plasma derived immunoglobulins for anthrax, botulism and smallpox are stored in the USG's Strategic National Stockpile and are available for use in the event of a biological incident. In addition to their role in existing response plans, plasma derived immunoglobulins are an important class of commercial therapeutics and can potentially be an important component of a robust preparedness effort for emerging infectious diseases. Speakers will discuss the current regulatory framework for plasma derived immunogloblins, their uses and future applications in preparedness.

The International Landscape of Biodefense: New Terrain

Track: Policy

The international landscape of biodefense: new terrain will an exploration of how other countries outside the US think at the strategic level about biodefense. Also, what means do they use to implement their efforts? This session will be a "compare-and-contrast" additional analysis to the policy track session on "The future of biodefense", and focus on how other nations are approaching the same question.

Pills and Needles 

Track: Biological Threat Reduction 

Rapid development and deployment of effective vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and other medical countermeasures is essential to prepare and respond to current and emerging biological threats. This session will delve into examples of how a diverse array of medical countermeasures can save lives and protect people against the threats posed by intentional bioterror attacks and naturally emerging pandemic threats. 

Coffee Break
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Keynote – Robert Kadlec, M.D., Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Biodefense for the 21st Century

Details on this Keynote Session are forthcoming.

Robert KadlecRobert Kadlec, M.D. 

Dr. Robert Kadlec is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The ASPR serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to public health emergencies, including bioterrorism. The office leads the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of manmade and naturally occurring disasters and public health emergencies. As such, the office coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other federal agencies, and state and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from public health emergencies.

Happy Hour
4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.


Tuesday, February 13 

Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. 

Plenary Session
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Sustaining the Commitment to Public Health Preparedness in the Face of New Threats

Track: Product Development 

In the face of an expanding set of disease targets (e.g. Chikungunya, Zika etc) and policy priorities (e.g. antibiotic development) it is appears to be increasingly difficult for organizations charged with supporting the development of medical countermeasures and other preparedness initiatives to maintain the sustained investments required to ensure success. This session will look at current funding priorities of USG and international funders and explore the various approaches these organizations take to sustaining product development programs.

Keynote – Ilaria Capua, DVM, Ph.D., University of Florida
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Viruses, Politics and Fake News

Details on this Keynote Session are forthcoming.

Illaria CapuaIlaria Capua, DVM, Ph.D.

Ilaria Capua is the Director of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida. Veterinarian by training and virologist by passion, she was also a Member of the Italian Parliament for over three years. Her vision for One Health is to progress beyond the human-animal-environment health triangle and to engage with other disciplines including economics, law, sustainability, politics, arts, and others. The stakeholder and decision-making perspective gained in Parliament is key to the realization of this multi-disciplinary approach and complements the scientific expertise which is essential in addressing global health issues.

Exhibit Hours
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Coffee Break in Exhibit and Poster Hall
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 

Poster Session 1
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Lunch on Own/Industry & Science Workshops
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Concurrent Symposia
1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

1918-2018: The Past, Present and Future for Influenza Pandemics

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research

The 100th anniversary of one of the greatest pandemics in human history provides an opportunity to integrate the history of influenza with modern efforts at designing intervention strategies, therapies and "universal" influenza vaccines. The session will cover aspects of influenza virus replication, evolution as well as practical challenges of scaling up interventions over a short timeframe.

Drug Development Tools I: Animal Models for Biothreats

Track: Product Development Track

USG agencies have been supporting the development of robustly defined animal models to support MCM development, testing and approval. The two most advanced Animal Models for diseases without adequate MCM are Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia. The status of these models will be discussed. Additionally, recent developments comparing the immune responses to ebola from different animal species and clinical studies will be discussed.

Policy Townhall and Stakeholder Discussion

Track: Policy

Although concern about offensive use of biological agents was high among security experts prior to 2001, terrorist events that year prompted changes in U.S. policy that resulted in a rapid scale-up of biodefense funding and significant strengthening of federal security requirements to prevent theft or diversion of pathogens. Fifteen years later, institutions still struggle with implementation of existing policy, but the biological landscape has evolved because of new biotechnology developments, requiring a re-analysis of policy and implementation strategies. In this session, a facilitated 2-way dialogue with participants will address questions of how current U.S. biodefense and biosecurity policies are implemented in their institutions, and whether they meet the U.S. goals for countering biological threats.

Wearable Technology for Population Health Assessment

Track: Biological Threat Reduction

Wearable technologies are being introduced into society at an accelerated pace. Everything from watches to clothes are now embedded with monitoring technologies. Our clothes, household goods, vehicles are being fused with our electronics to give an unprecedented level of interconnectivity. What role can these technologies play in biothreat reduction? Speakers will talk about emerging trends and how they contribute to everything from population health assessment to enhancing military and first responder capability during operations.

Coffee Break in Exhibit and Poster Hall
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Concurrent Symposia
3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Microbial Forensics: Beyond the Select Agents List

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research 

While that select agent list is appropriately focused on high consequence pathogens the application of Microbial Forensics (Bioforensics) to microbiology requires a broader approach to the characterization of microbial organisms and associated products. This session will focus on application of bio-forensic tools from a methods based approach that support the understanding of what a sample is and where did it come from and will include a discussion on how metagenomics and proteomics support answering questions relevant to the investigative process. Examples will be used to that feature basic science required to support scientific analysis in criminal cases. The session will provide participants insight into the sciences making up this multidisciplinary field and the directions it is heading towards. There will an interactive discussion with the audience.

Drug Development Tools II: Computational Approaches to Improving Infectious Disease Drug Development

Track: Product Development

Drug discovery, design and testing are increasingly relying upon computational tools to enhance the drug development process. Speakers in this session will describe the use of these tools to inform the development of vaccines and therapeutics for emerging infectious disease and other biological threats. Topics to be discussed include Systems serology, T cell epitope identification tools for vaccine/therapeutic design and structural vaccinology among others.

Case Study on the Synthetic Creation of Horsepox: Promising Vaccine Study or Biosecurity Risk?

Track: Policy

Recently the world learned that an extinct horse pox virus with very close homology to smallpox was created synthetically in a Canadian research lab. In this session participants will discuss the technical aspects of both the virus' creation and vaccine development. Further, the biosecurity questions and controversy surrounding the experiments will be discussed: what are the implications for the international policy arena? What are the implications for the biodefense industry?

Artificial Intelligence for Biosurveillance

Track: Biological Threat Reduction

Real-time situational awareness of intentional and naturally-occurring biological incidents (e.g., the aerosolized release of Bacillus anthracis and pandemic influenza, respectively) is exceedingly difficult due to many factors.  One of these factors is the lack of tools that can rapidly structure, integrate, and analyze large, disparate data types at scale with minimal human intervention.  The advancement of artificial intelligence and deep-learning has enabled the analysis of data in other domains at scale, yet these techniques have not been fully realized for biosurveillance.  This session will explore the applicability of artificial intelligence towards awareness of biological incidents to include real-time data analysis at scale that provides meaningful information to both analysts and decision-makers.  Topic areas include detection, tracking, and forecasting events, as well as analysis of genomic data as it relates to understanding and characterizing a biological event. 

Dinner Session
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Open Philanthropy Project 

Preparing for Biological Catastrophe: Learning from History, Predicting the Future

Moderator: 
Dr. Gigi Gronvall, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins for Health Security

Speakers:
Dr. Scott Knowles, Professor, Disaster Research Center
Dr. Jason Matheny, Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

In 2018, 100 years after an influenza pandemic killed 5% of the world's population, we may think we are much more prepared to face an infectious disease crisis. But are we truly likely to either manage or prevent global catastrophic biological risks? Could a modern pandemic—whether started by nature, accident, or on purpose, overwhelm the programs and preparations the worldwide community has put in place? What if a future epidemic was much worse than 1918, causing a global collapse of systems and institutions in addition to catastrophic loss of life?

Learning from, predicting, and—we hope—preventing major biological disasters will be discussed at this special event. Join us for dinner* and an exciting tour of the be-all and end-all of biological disasters - Truly, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"!
*A cash bar will be available. 

Field Operations (Tentative)
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


Wednesday, February 14 

Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Concurrent Symposia
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

What's Old is New Again: Live Attentuated Vaccines Against Biothreats

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research

Over 200 years ago, Edward Jenner demonstrated that a live attenuated vaccine protected humans against smallpox. Since that time, interest in live attenuated vaccines has ebbed and flowed because of safety concerns and the advent of new technologies. This session will highlight how new live attenuated vaccines against Ebola, Chikungunya, Melioidosis, and other biothreat agents are safe and efficacious.

Beyond Vaccines and Therapeutics: Novel Strategies and Technologies to Prepare for and Respond to Biothreats

Track: Product Development

To date the majority of MCM developed for biothreats have been based upon vaccines and/or drug products like small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. A wide variety of other technologies are available that offer unique opportunities to treat, mitigate and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Speakers in this session will describe some of these technologies and place them in context of responding to disease outbreaks.

Risk Assessment and Investment Process at Government Agencies 

Track: Policy

How does the federal government decide what is most important to invest in, in terms of biodefense? This question is addressed from a variety of viewpoints, to include both biodefense research and medical countermeasure approaches.

Platform Technologies to Speed Biothreat Medical Countermeasure Development

Track: Biological Threat Reduction

Biothreat medical countermeasure (MCM) development for military personnel is often a slow, difficult process with high rates of failure. Some of the many problems facing the biothreat MCM community are the inability to conduct human clinical trials, uncertainty about the best animal models for any given threat, difficulty discovering and leveraging the best druggable host targets, and understanding the mechanism of action and any off target effects of the MCM. With the emergence of innovative platform technologies such as high throughput mass spectrometry, RNA-seq and microphysiological systems (human organs-on-a-chip), the prospects for greatly accelerating and improving the biothreat MCM development process are greater now than ever before. This session will focus on new platform technologies that will help accelerate and improve the biothreat MCM development pipeline including biomarker and druggable target discovery, microphysiological systems, high throughput -omics (proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics), and sample-to-answer microfluidic systems (labs-on-a-chip).

Exhibit Hours
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Coffee Break in Exhibit and Poster Hall
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Poster Session 2
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Lunch in Exhibit and Poster Hall
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Concurrent Symposia
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

When You Go Out in the Woods Today: The Emerging Threat of Tick-borne Viruses 

Track: High Consequence Pathogen Research 

Infections with tick-borne viruses, new and old, are becoming more frequent. These agents can be the cause of serious disease, but are often underdiagnosed and underappreciated. This session will address the emerging threat of tick-borne viruses.

Speakers:
Anne Piantadosi, Mass General Hospital/The Broad Institute | Powassan virus – an autochthonous emerging tick borne encephalitis virus
Hideki Ebihara, The Mayo Clinic | Heartland, Bourbon, SFSTV and other emerging tick borne viruses
Luwanika Mlera, Rocky Mountain Labs/NIAID The role of reservoir hosts in tick borne virus biology

The Background and Future Direction of P3CO

Track: Policy

Certain gain-of-function studies with the potential to enhance the pathogenicity or transmissibility of potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs) have raised biosafety and biosecurity concerns, including the potential dual use risks associated with the misuse of the information or products resulting from such research. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched a deliberative process to re-evaluate the potential risks and benefits associated with GOF. During which time the USG paused federal funding for GOF studies involving influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses. In January 2017, the U.S. Government released policy guidance, informed by the NSABB, for the review and oversight of research anticipated to create, transfer, or use enhanced PPPs. In this session, participants will have a timely discussion of the merits of the policy making approach, the potential outcomes that might result from policy as P3CO is implemented by government agencies.

 

 

 

TPL_asm2013_SEARCH

94985