Penang, Malaysia: National Academic Workshop Biothreats & Biorisk: Bridging Science & Security

Event Description: 

The Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) National Academic Workshop on Biothreats and Biorisk: Bridging Science and Security was held on October 27-28, 2014 in Penang, Malaysia.


This event aimed to enhance national coordination in prevention, preparedness, and response to biological incidents and threats, build on discussions and successes of the previous workshops and training courses, and continue to strengthen pre-existing inter-ministerial and international relationships.


  • Facilitate understanding on the implementation of biosecurity measures related to national obligations to International Health Reporting (IHR), Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540.
  • Promote common understanding of biosecurity risks and mitigation measures, and how they relate to safety and ethical risks and mitigation strategies of biological and biotechnological research.
  • Provide scientists and research administrators an opportunity to exchange best practices and lessons learned for dual use life sciences research with international experts on security and policy.
  • Highlight current challenges associated with establishing and maintaining safety, security, and ethics protocols while conducting or enabling biological research with foreign students, faculty, staff, or collaborating partners.


This two-day event was co-chaired by the Malaysia Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE) and the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) CBEP. The workshop consisted of presentations by subject matter experts (SMEs), panel discussions, and a wrap-up and dialogue session. This event served as an opportunity to promote common understanding on implementation of biosecurity measures and biosecurity risks/mitigation strategies, and highlighted the current challenges in addressing safety, security, and ethics while also conducting biological research.

Mon, 10/27/2014 to Tue, 10/28/2014
Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort
Event Coordinator: 
Katie Leahy
Presenters or VIPs: 
Dr. Susan Corning, World Organisation for Animal Health
Dr. Dana Perkins, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
Mr. James Welch, Elizabeth R Griffin Research Foundation
Ms. Janet Weir, DTRA CBEP
Ms. Yasemin Balci, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)
Mr. Guy Collyer, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
Dr. Sonia Hunt, Federal Burea of Investigation (FBI)
YDH Sac Dato' Ayob Khan bin Mydin Pitchay, Counter Terrorism Division, Royal Malaysia Police