Date(s) - 10/12/2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Date: Thursday, October 12th, 2023
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Sentara Martha Jefferson Outpatient Care Center, Kessler Conference Room
Physical Address: 595 Martha Jefferson Drive Charlottesville, Virginia 22911
Jointly Provided by
Eastern Virginia Medical School Continuing Medical Education and
Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
TOPIC: “Countering the Threat of Synthetic Pathogens – A Call to Arms”
COL (Ret) Gray Heppner, MD, FACP, FASTMH
Position: Chief Medical Officer, Crozet Biopharma LLC
Target Audience: Physicians, Medical Students, Public Health and Government Officials
1. Understand the potential of synthetic biology to engineer untreatable infectious disease threats.
Reference: Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic biology. National Academies Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. (https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/24890/biodefense-in-the-age-of-synthetic-biology).
2. Name four nations currently stockpiling biological weapons.
Reference: Department of Defense Biodefense Posture Review 2023. (https://media.defense.gov/2023/Aug/17/2003282337/-1/1/1/2023_BIODEFENSE_POSTURE_REVIEW.PDF).
3. After review of “Dark Winter” exercise which modelled a covert bioweapons attack on US citizens. Describe the consequences of a simultaneous release of a 30% lethal, highly contagious, untreatable poxvirus at 3 shopping malls in the USA.
Reference: Tabletop Exercise Dark Winter. (https://centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/tabletop-exercises/dark-winter-a-training-tabletop-exercise).
4. Basic reproductive rate (R0) is defined as the average number of secondary transmissions from one infected person. Describe the relative effectiveness of non-medical countermeasures (social distancing, masks, etc.), drugs and vaccines in reducing R0 to less than 1, the value needed to end an epidemic.
Reference: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (https://cepi.net/)
5. The White House 2022 National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plans for Countering Biological Threats, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness, and Achieving Global Health Security aspirational goals for pandemic preparedness included, “developing vaccines for new pandemics within 100 days.“ Describe political, scientific, industrial, regulatory, and sociological challenges in pathogen identification and sequencing, vaccine design, scale up, production, deployment and public acceptance.
Reference: National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/National-Biodefense-Strategy-and-Implementation-Plan-Final.pdf
Speaker Disclosure: Gray Heppner, MD (speaker) has disclosed a relationship with Crozet BioPharma, LumaCyte Inc., Quigley BioPharma, Vaxxinity, General Dynamics Information Technology, Global Health Innovation Technology Fund and they U.S. Army.
John Mason, MD, Rita Page, MD and the planning committee have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose.