W. Ian Lipkin Joins Taskforce to Address Risks of Lab-Based Pathogen Outbreaks

September 21, 2022

W. Ian Lipkin, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia Mailman School, is one of a group of scientists and public health leaders convened by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to be part of a new international task force to consider trends and oversight of high-risk pathogen research.

The announcement follows the WHO’s recent release of the “Global guidance framework for the responsible use of the life sciences: mitigating biorisks and governing dual-use research.” Over the next few months, the initiative on “Creating the Framework for Tomorrow’s Pathogen Research” will discuss risk assessment and mitigation, including lab-based outbreak risks.

A public-facing conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in April will include task force members, policy leaders, journalists, scientists, and civic leaders, among others, and will produce a summary report with recommendations for a comprehensive global approach to the management of extremely high-risk biological research. (Read more on the Bulletin website.)