ASM Biodefense Research Meeting

February 13, 2004

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will host its 2004 Biodefense Research Meeting from March 7-10, 2004 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

There is an increasing need for research that helps protect the public from biological attacks. This need has caused a major shift in priorities, in both the government and private research sectors, from a focus on day-to-day health issues to a greater emphasis on research areas dealing with homeland security. This new biological research agenda however, does not require scientists to start from scratch. Many new technologies currently being tested in the field of infectious diseases can be applied to the challenges of homeland defense.

The purpose of this meeting is to identify existing state-of-the-art research in the biomedical sciences that can be adapted to address biodefense needs, including vaccine development, new and faster diagnostics, and new treatments for potential biowarfare agents. The meeting will also seek to identify gaps where more research is needed.

The first day of the conference will be devoted to workshop presentations by representatives of various government agencies designed to help researchers better understand the government's approach to and priorities in biodefense. The workshops will be followed by the opening session featuring a presentation "Science and Technology for Security" by Dr. Jack Marburger, President George W. Bush's Science Advisor, and a presentation by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Health on the Progress that has been made over the last year in biodefense research.

Additional presentation topics include:

  • Challenges facing researchers in the field of biological warfare
  • Novel antibacterial countermeasures
  • New approaches to vaccine development
  • Use of advanced laser and biochip technologies for biodefense

    Comprehensive media facilities will be available. The press center will be located in the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Program and abstract books, news releases and information about daily press activities will be available.

    Preliminary program and hotel information are available online at Media registration is complimentary. Journalists wishing to register can do so by contacting Jim Sliwa, ASM Office of Communications, at or by phone at (202) 942-9297.

    American Society for Microbiology

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