Task force

In Sept. 2022, the Bulletin launched a year-long task force composed of globally recognized experts to generate new thinking on research with pandemic risk.

The task force members and leaders are below. Tap or hover on their image to learn more.


  • Ravindra Gupta

    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. 

  • 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.

  • Shahid Jameel

    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 Science, Technology and Environment 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.

  • David Relman

    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.


  • Jesse Bloom

    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

    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. She is also an Associate Senior Researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and a Non-Resident Scholar at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). Lentzos serves as the Chair of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Responsible Use of the Life Science and Dual use Research (TAG RULS DUR), a member of the UK Biosecurity Leadership Council,  a member of the WHO Health Security Interface – Technical Advisory Group (HSI-TAG), and as the NGO Coordinator for the Biological Weapons Convention.


  • Anurag Agrawal

    Agrawal is Dean, BioSciences and Health Research, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, India, and former director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, a national laboratory of CSIR, India. His primary research is in respiratory biology and broader interests are in a new vision of health and healthcare seen through the lenses of emerging technologies. He serves on numerous national and global advisory groups, recently chairing the World Health Organization technical advisory group for viral evolution, the Lancet-Financial Times commission for governing digital health futures, and serving on the pandemic preparedness subgroup at the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence.

  • Nisreen AL-Hmoud

    AL-Hmoud has served as the director of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Centre at the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan since October 2015. As a scientist, Dr. AL-Hmoud is motivated to provide research that focuses on the public good; her research emphasis is the preservation of human health and biodiversity. During the last fifteen years, Dr. AL-Hmoud has dedicated her research to the development of scientific capacity in the fields of water & food safety and security and evaluation of environmental risks for scientists, government agencies, local communities and non-governmental organizations in Jordan and in the Middle East and North Africa region. Dr. AL-Hmoud is actively contributing to biorisk management capacity building programs nationally and regionally.

  • Francoise Baylis

    Baylis, CM, ONS, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, FISC is distinguished research professor emerita, Dalhousie University, Canada. Baylis is a philosopher whose innovative work at the intersection of policy and practice, aims to move the limits of mainstream bioethics and to develop more effective ways to understand and tackle global public policy challenges.  Baylis is the author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing, which won the 2020 PROSE Award in Clinical Medicine. In 2021, she was a member of WHO working groups on a global guidance framework for the responsible use of life sciences. That same year she was elected to the Governing Board of the International Science Council. In 2022, Baylis was awarded the Killam Prize for the Humanities.  

  • Agnes Binagwaho

    Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD, is the retired vice chancellor and co-founder of the University of Global Health Equity, an initiative of Partners in Health. She previously worked as the executive secretary of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, and Minister of Health. She is a professor of pediatrics at UGHE, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and an adjunct clinical professor at Dartmouth. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the African Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences. She was named among the 100 Most Influential African Women for 2020 and 2021 and is a recipient of the 2022 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science.

  • Sylvie Briand

    Briand is the Executive Head of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board Secretariat at the World Health Organization (WHO/WHE), where she advances global efforts to prevent and control existing and emerging infectious diseases by increasing access to evidence-based interventions; fostering impactful innovation; and leveraging technical, operational and strategic partnerships. The scope of GIH includes COVID-19 but also other dangerous pathogens. Since 2001, Dr Briand has been actively involved in the detection, preparedness and response to global threats, leading the scientific and strategic component of the WHO response (avian and pandemic influenza, Ebola, Zika, Plague, yellow fever, cholera, MERS). 

  • Rocco Casagrande

    Casagrande is a founder and chair of the board of Gryphon Scientific, a life sciences consultancy. With a degree from Cornell in biology and chemistry and an MIT PhD in biology, Dr. Casagrande applies quantitative and systematic analysis to tackle daunting problems to manage scientific risks. The work of Dr. Casagrande and his team have formed the basis of the US Government’s and WHO’s policies on biosecurity and biosafety, including the US policy on the oversight on research on pathogens with pandemic potential and the design and operations of high containment laboratories. Currently, Dr. Casagrande is focused on generating data to inform biorisk management and improve biosafety in containment laboratories.

  • Alina Chan

    Chan is a scientific advisor and viral vector engineer at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. Dr. Chan is a Broad Ignite fellow and a recent Human Frontier Science Program fellow with a background in medical genetics, synthetic biology, and genetic engineering. Her research has been focused on creating next generation vectors for human gene therapy. During the pandemic, Dr. Chan began to investigate problems relevant to finding the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and spearheaded the development of the COVID-19 CoV Genetics (covidcg.org) browser for scientists worldwide to rapidly track virus lineages and mutations by locations and date ranges of interest.

  • George Gao

    Gao is a member (academician) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and foreign membership of the U.K. Royal Society (RS). He is a professor of Institute of Microbiology at CAS. Gao obtained his DPhil degree from Oxford University, UK and did his postdoc work in both Oxford University and Harvard University. His researches focus on pathogen microbiology and immunology. Gao is a leading scientist in the field of virology and immunology in China and worldwide, and he has long been engaged in the research of transmission of pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Asha George

    George is the executive director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense and a member of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board. George served in the US House of Representatives as a senior professional staffer and subcommittee staff director at the House Committee on Homeland Security in the 110th and 111th Congress. George also served on active duty in the US Army as a military intelligence officer and a paratrooper. She is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran. She holds a BA in Natural Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, a MS in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. 

  • David Heymann

    Heymann is a medical epidemiologist and professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM. He was previously chair of Public Health England and led the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House (London). In 2003, he headed the WHO global response to SARS. Heymann was a member of the CDC (Atlanta) team to investigate the first Ebola outbreak in DRC. He has published over 250 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, is editor of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, and is an elected member of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine. In 2009 he was named an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to global health.

  • Clare Jolly

    Jolly is a professor at University College London. Her research is focussed on the cell biology of virus infection and virus-host interactions. Specifically, her lab seeks to understand how pandemic HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 hijack host cells to successfully replicate while avoiding antiviral defences. During the pandemic, Jolly applied her expertise in working with HIV-1 at high-containment and pivoted to SARS-CoV-2 research. Working with a team of UK and international collaborators, her group discovered mechanism of innate immune sensing of SARS-CoV-2 by human cells, and showed how the Alpha variant evolved enhanced innate immune evasion, linking adaptation to host with variant dominance, and genotype to phenotype. Jolly obtained her BSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

  • Thomas Kariuki

    Kariuki is Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Science for Africa Foundation, established in 2021 to support, strengthen and promote science and innovation in Africa.A long-time advocate involved in the global effort to develop vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics for poverty related diseases, he is a prolific science leader whose experience in science diplomacy has enabled the mobilisation of support and hundreds of millions in USD funding from global funders and African governments for science and innovation programmes in Africa.

  • Jens Kuhn

    Kuhn is a principal at Tunnell Government Services (TGS), Bethesda, MD, USA, tasked as one of two Principal Scientists and the Director of Virology (contractor) at the NIH/NIAID/DCR/Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick), a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facility in Frederick, MD, USA. Dr. Kuhn specializes in highly virulent viral human and animal pathogens. He is the author of “Filoviruses: A Compendium of 40 Years of Epidemiological, Clinical, and Laboratory Studies” (Vienna: Springer, 2008) and co-author of “The Soviet Biological Weapons Program—A History” (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012), and he has studied and worked in Germany, Italy, Malta, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea.

  • Poh Lian Lim

    Lim is Director of the High-Level Isolation Unit, National Centre for Infectious Diseases Singapore, Head of the Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and Senior Consultant with the Ministry of Health Singapore. Dr Lim’s extensive clinical and public health experience is in the areas of outbreak preparedness and response, emerging and novel pathogens, travel medicine, and vaccines. She has served on WHO’s GOARN Steering Committee and the UN Secretary General’s Global Health Crises taskforce, chaired the WHO Technical Advisory Group for the Health Security Interface, and currently chairs the Independent Allocation of Vaccines Group for the COVAX Facility.

  • W. Ian Lipkin

    Lipkin is the director for the Center of Infection and Immunity and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, director for the Global Alliance for Preventing Pandemics (GAPP), and director of the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS. He is internationally recognized for global public health contributions by being at the forefront of outbreak response and through the innovative methods developed for infectious diseases diagnosis, surveillance, and discovery. Lipkin consulted on COVID-19 protocols for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the 2021 Academy Awards and served as scientific advisor to the film “Contagion”.

  • Marc Lipsitch

    Lipsitch is professor of epidemiology and founding director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He speaks in his academic capacity, but for the record is also part-time detailed to the US CDC where he is senior advisor for the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics. His research focuses broadly on the impact of medical and public health interventions on pathogen populations and the consequences of these changes for human health. Lipsitch received a BA from Yale and a DPhil from the University of Oxford, followed by postdoctoral work in biology at Emory University and a period as a visiting scientist at CDC. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology and the US National Academy of Medicine.

  • Sandra Lopez-Verges

    López-Vergès is a Senior Health Researcher V and Head of the Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology at Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies and Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI), Secretaria Nacional de Ciencia, tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT). Her research focuses on understanding the virological and immunological factors shaping the emergence of viruses and the severity of diseases associated with viral infection in humans. To answer these questions her research integrates clinical, virological, cellular, molecular and immunological approaches and a continued collaboration with researchers from other fields like medicine, epidemiology, entomology and statistics. 

  • Suzet McKinney

    McKinney is the principal and director of Life Sciences for Sterling Bay. She is also a member of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board. She previously served as CEO and executive director of the Illinois Medical District. In 2020, Dr. McKinney was appointed by IL Governor JB Pritzker as Operations Lead for the State of Illinois’ Alternate Care Facilities, a network of alternate medical locations designed to decompress the hospital system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. McKinney holds her Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, her BA from Brandeis University, and her MPH and certificates in Managed Care and Health Care Administration from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

  • Megan Palmer

    Palmer is an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University and an affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation where she previously served at a Senior Research Scholar. She also previously held roles as Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives at Stanford, leading integrated research, teaching and engagement programs to explore how biological science and engineering is shaping our societies, and to guide innovation to serve public interests. 

  • Gustavo Palacios

    Gustavo Palacios

    Palacios is a distinguished virologist with over 20 years of experience in the study of emerging infectious diseases. His research focuses on understanding the genetic makeup of viruses and their emergence and transmission. He is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a member of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute. Dr. Palacios previously worked at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He is an accomplished educator and mentor and has published extensively in top-tier scientific journals. Dr. Palacios earned his Master’s degree in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Buenos Aires.

  • Nahoko Shindo

    Shindo’s background is in medicine, infectious diseases, emergency & intensive care, and public health. She trained at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, Radcliff Infirmary in Oxford and Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo, where she also earned her PhD in Medical Science. She went on to train in epidemiology/surveillance at the Infectious Disease Surveillance Centre of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, which is a WHO Collaborating Centre. She joined WHO in 2002. She was involved in WHO’s global responses to the outbreaks of SARS, avian influenza, viral hemorrhagic fever in Africa, the 2009 influenza pandemic, MERS in the Middle East, avian influenza H7N9. She served as the Chair of WHO COVID-19 Publication Review Committee (2020-21).

  • Volker Thiel

    Thiel has worked since the 1990s on basic aspects of coronavirus replication, immune responses, and virus-host interactions. Many of his studies included highly pathogenic coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Since 2014 he has led the virology division at the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) in Bern and Mittelhäusern and served as chair of virology at the Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern. He is co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID), a strategic center of the University of Bern for pandemic preparedness. Thiel is a member of the National Swiss Biosafety Expert Committee and has served during the pandemic as a member of the Swiss National Science Task Force and the WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution.

  • Weiwen Zhang

    Zhang is a Baiyang Chair Professor of Tianjin University; Founding Director of Tianjin University Center for Biosafety Research and Strategy (TJU-CBRS); Deputy director of Frontier Science Center of Synthetic Biology of Ministry of Education of China. Dr. Zhang graduated from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1996 with a doctoral degree in microbiology. Prior to joining Tianjin University, Dr. Zhang was a faculty with Arizona State University, and a Senior Principal Investigator with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Zhang is currently Chief Scientist for the National Key R&D Research Program of China - Synthetic Biology program, and Chief Investigator for the Key Strategic Project of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology on dual-use biotechnology governance.


  • Mayra Ameneiros

    Ameneiros is a research associate at King´s College London, Centre for Science and Security Studies at the Department of War Studies. She is an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Initiative Fellow through Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Arms Control Negotiation Academy Fellow through Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Ameneiros is deputy coordinator for the Next Generation Global Health Security Network. She is a certified professional in Biorisk Management and Biosecurity from the International Federation of Biosafety Associations and holds a BSc in Biochemistry, a MSc in transfusion medicine and immunohematology, and a postgraduate degree in international security. She is a member of the WHO's Technical Advisory Group on Health Security Interface.

  • Becca Earnhardt

    Earnhardt is a Presidential Scholar and PhD student in the Biodefense program at the Schar School for Policy and Government at George Mason University. Prior to joining the Biodefense PhD program, Earnhardt was a Faculty Specialist in the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and a Research Associate with the Nuclear Security Program at the Stimson Center. Her current research focuses on biorisk management, health security, and CBRN terrorism. Earnhardt holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a M.S. in Biodefense from George Mason University.

Project Manager

  • Halley Posner

    Posner is the program manager for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She was part of the 2021 cohort of the Nuclear Scholars Initiative at the Center for Strategic Studies’ Project on Nuclear Issues and recently was a fellow with N Square Collaborative. Posner holds a BA in history from Bates College, where she was also the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The Bates Student. Academically, she focused on nonproliferation, deterrence, and asymmetric warfare theory. In addition to her Bulletin work, Posner is pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.