Pathogens Project Report Launch

United Nations Headquarters | February 28, 2024; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

Members of the Bulletin’s Independent Task Force on Research with Pandemic Risks will convene in February at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Watch the live stream of the event to hear UN and WHO officials and members of the task force’s leadership discuss findings from the report.

The report is a culmination of an eighteen-month initiative that brings together specialists from around the world, across fields such as biosecurity, ethics, epidemiology, global governance and policy, and virology, among other areas. Task force members met virtually throughout the period and convened in Geneva, Switzerland this past April for a three day, public-facing conference that included policy leaders, journalists, scientists, and civic leaders.

The Pathogens Project is made possible through the generosity of:

  • Gurley Family Charitable Fund
  • Robert and Eleanor Mevers
  • Keith D. and Arlene M. Bronstein Foundation
  • Anonymous (2)

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Task Force Chairs

  • Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

    Gurib-Fakim served as the 6th and first female president of the Republic of Mauritius (2015-2018). Prior to that, she has been the managing director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the University of Mauritius. Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor. She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for Research. Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of Exeter, UK.

  • Ravindra Gupta

    Ravi Gupta is professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University. Gupta has worked in HIV drug resistance both at molecular and population levels, and his work led to change in WHO treatment guidelines for HIV. He led the study demonstrating HIV cure in the ‘London Patient’ – the world’s only living HIV cure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gupta has deployed his expertise in RNA virus genetics and biology to report early evidence for immune escape of SARS-CoV-2 within an individual. More recently Gupta defined the replication advantage of the Delta variant and the tropism shift and immune escape of Omicron. Gupta has advised the UK government on COVID-19 through SAGE and NERVTAG and in 2020 appeared in the list of 100 most influential people by TIME.

  • David Relman

    David A. Relman is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan professor in medicine and a professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University and chief of infectious diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. He is senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford and previously served as the Center’s science co-director. Relman served as president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and as chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats at the US National Academies of Science and is currently a member of the Defense Science Board for the US Department of Defense and the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2011 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2022.

  • Shahid Jameel

    Dr. Shahid Jameel is the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Fellow at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Research Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He serves as the Principal Investigator for the Centre's project on Public Health, Science and Technology in Muslim societies. Previously he was the director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University. He was formerly head of the scientific advisory group to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortia. Jameel is an elected fellow of all the three major Indian science academies. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards, for his contributions to Medical Sciences in 2000.

Pathogens Project Directors

  • Jesse Bloom

    Jesse Bloom is a professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His lab uses a combination of experiments and computation to study the evolution of viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2. A major focus of his research is to use high-throughput approaches to define which viral mutations can affect sensitivity to antibodies. The goal is to use these insights to better understand viral evolution and design vaccines.

  • Filippa Lentzos

    Filippa Lentzos is a reader (associate professor) in Science & International Security at King’s College London, where she is jointly appointed in the Department of War Studies and the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine. A biologist and social scientist by training, Lentzos’ research critically examines biological threats, health security, biorisk management and biological arms control, and she has written widely on these issues. Lentzos serves as the Director of the King’s MA in Science & International Security. She is also an associate senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a non-resident scholar at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and she serves as the NGO coordinator for the Biological Weapons Convention.


  • 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

    Session 1: Setting the Scene

    • Rachel Bronson, Bulletin President and CEO
    • Chris King, Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs
    • Anna Laura Ross, Head of Emerging Technologies, Research Prioritization, and Support Unit, World Health Organization
    • Tim Stearns, Dean and Vice President of Education at The Rockefeller University, Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics. Read his remarks from the event.
  • 11:00 - 12:00 p.m.

    Session 2: Findings and Recommendations

    • Filippa Lentzos, Associate Professor, Science & International Security, Kings's College London
    • David Relman, Professor and Senior Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation
    • Ravindra Gupta, Professor of Clinical Microbiology, Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases
    • Shahid Jameel, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Fellow, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies