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Project Information

Project Information


Strategies for Identifying and Addressing Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology


Project Scope:

To assist the U.S. Department of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP), The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc committee to address the changing nature of the biodefense threat in the age of synthetic biology. Specifically, the focus of the study will be the manipulation of biological functions, systems, or microorganisms resulting in the production of disease-causing agents or toxins. The study will be conducted in two primary phases and will be followed by a workshop. Initially, the committee will develop a strategic framework to guide an assessment of the potential security vulnerabilities related to advances in biology and biotechnology, with a particular emphasis on synthetic biology.

The framework will focus on how to address the following three questions: What are the possible security concerns with regard to synthetic biology that are on the horizon? What are the time frames of development of these concerns? What are our options for mitigating these potential concerns? The committee will publish a brief interim, public report outlining the developed framework. This framework will not be a threat assessment, but rather, will focus on ways to identify scientific developments to enable opportunities that have the potential to mitigate threats posed by synthetic biology in the near-, mid-, and long-term, with the specific time frames defined by the committee. The framework will lay out how best to consider the trajectory of scientific advances, identify potential areas of vulnerability and provide ideas for potential mitigation opportunities to consider.

In Phase 2 of the study, the committee will use the outlined strategic framework to generate an assessment of potential vulnerabilities posed by synthetic biology. Inputs to this assessment may include information about the current threat, current program priorities and research and an evaluation of the current landscape of science and technology. Conclusions and recommendations will include a list and description of potential vulnerabilities posed by synthetic biology.
In Phase 3 of the activity, after the study portion is completed and the final report is released, the committee will organize a classified workshop to present its findings to the biodefense community and selected members of the synthetic biology community and contribute to the biodefense community’s discussion of potential vulnerabilities and mitigation options. A brief proceedings will be prepared by a rapporteur to capture the discussion at the workshop. The brief proceedings will not contain any findings or recommendations of the committee.

Status: Current

PIN: DELS-BCST-16-04

Project Duration (months): 21 month(s)

RSO: Shelton-Davenport, Marilee

Topic(s):

Biology and Life Sciences
Conflict and Security Issues
Math, Chemistry, and Physics


Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 01/05/2017

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale - (Chair)
Michael Imperiale, PhD (Committee Chair) is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Chair of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Imperiale’s research focuses on the molecular biology of the small DNA tumor virus BK polyomavirus (BKPyV), and specifically on how the virus traffics through the cell and interacts with the host intrinsic immune functions. Dr. Imperiale is a previous member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) and has been deeply involved in the policy discussion regarding the potential risks and benefits of gain-of-function research. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. He is the founding editor-in-chief of mSphere and also serves as an editor for mBio. In addition to his laboratory research, Dr. Imperiale is involved in science policy. He serves on the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and on the Planetary Protection Subcommittee at NASA. Dr. Imperiale received his BA, MA, and PhD from Columbia University, all in biological sciences.
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Patrick Boyle, PhD is the Head of Design at Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based synthetic biology company that makes and sells engineered organisms. Dr. Boyle’s team provides design tools and synthetic biology expertise to Ginkgo’s Organism Engineers, and is an integral part of Ginkgo’s Design, Build, Test, and Ferment strategy for organism engineering. Dr. Boyle has extensive hands-on experience with the day-to-day applications of synthetic biology, as well as with working within the existing regulatory structure surrounding synthetic biology. Dr. Boyle received his PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Peter A. Carr, PhD is a Senior Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, where he leads the Synthetic Biology research program. His research interests span genome engineering, rapid prototyping of both hardware and wetware, DNA synthesis and error correction, risk evaluation, and biodefense. Dr. Carr is the Director of Judging for the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) and is deeply knowledgeable about both the practice and potential implications of synthetic biology, with a special focus on the potential impacts on biodefense. Dr. Carr received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Harvard, and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University.
Dr. Douglas Densmore
Douglas Densmore, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow, both at Boston University. His research focuses on the development of tools for the specification, design, and assembly of synthetic biological systems, drawing upon his experience with embedded system-level design and electronic design automation (EDA). He is the director of the Cross-disciplinary Integration of Design Automation Research (CIDAR) group at Boston University, where his team of staff and postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate interns, and graduate students develop computational and experimental tools for synthetic biology. He is the lead investigator for the National Science Foundation Expeditions “Living Computing Project” and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Association for Computing Machinery. Dr. Densmore received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Diane DiEuliis, PhD is a Senior Research Fellow at National Defense University. Her research areas focus on emerging biological technologies, biodefense, and preparedness for biothreats. Dr. DiEuliis also studies issues related to dual use research, disaster recovery research, and behavioral, cognitive, and social science as it relates to important aspects of deterrence and preparedness. Prior to joining NDU, Dr. DiEuliis was the Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. DiEuliis also previously served in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House and was a program director at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. DiEuliis has a broad knowledge about the policy implications of emerging technologies, as well as the intricacies that accompany instituting new policies to regulate such emerging technologies. Dr. DiEuliis received her PhD in biological sciences from the University of Delaware.
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Andrew Ellington, PhD, is the Fraser Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ellington’s research focuses on the development and evolution of artificial life, including nucleic acid operating systems that can function both in vitro and in vivo. His lab aims to “…[reduce] synthetic biology…to an engineering discipline rather than a buzzword.” Dr. Ellington was previously a recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, Cottrell, and Pew Scholar Awards. He has actively advised numerous government agencies on biodefense and biotechnology issues, including being recently named a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow. He was also recently named an American Academy of Microbiology and AAAS Fellow. Dr. Ellington has also helped found the aptamer companies Archemix and b3 Biosciences, and has an intimate understanding of both the academic and commercial sides of synthetic biology, as well as the challenges to both.
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Gigi Kwik Gronvall, PhD is a Senior Associate at the Center for Health Security of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. An immunologist by training, Dr. Gronvall’s work addresses how scientists can diminish the threat of biological weapons and how they can contribute to an effective response against a biological weapon or a natural epidemic. Dr. Gronvall is the author of the book Synthetic Biology: Safety, Security, and Promise, published in Fall 2016 (Health Security Press). She is a member of the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC), which provides the Secretary of Defense with independent advice and recommendations on reducing the risk to the United States, its military forces, and its allies and partners posed by nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional threats. Dr. Gronvall had testified before Congress on topics relating to biosafety and biosecurity and is widely regarded as an expert on the role of scientists in health and national security matters. Dr. Gronvall earned her PhD from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Charles N. Haas
Charles Haas, PhD is the L.D. Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University. His broad research interests include the estimation of human health risks from environmental exposures to pathogens and their control using engineering interventions and drinking water treatment. Dr. Haas is broadly knowledgeable in the field of risk assessment, particularly in the context of complex and interdependent systems. Dr. Haas was co-director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment that which was jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Haas has served on a number of National Academy of Sciences’ committees, including serving as chair on the study that reviewed Risk Assessment Approaches for the Medical Countermeasures Test and Evaluation Facility at Fort Detrick, MD. Dr. Haas received his PhD in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Kristala Jones Prather
Kristala Jones Prather, PhD, is the Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an investigator in the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. Her research interests are centered on the engineering of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, especially focusing on the design and assembly of biological pathways to target compounds and the incorporation of novel control strategies for regulation of metabolism. Prior to joining MIT’s faculty, Dr. Prather worked in bioprocess research and development at Merck Research Laboratories. She has received numerous awards, including a position on the MIT Technology Review‘s TR35, a list of innovators under the age of 35; the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award; and the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award. Prather has been recognized for excellence in teaching at MIT with several awards, including the School of Engineering’s Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, and through appointment as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, the highest honor given for undergraduate teaching at MIT. Dr. Prather received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Joseph Kanabrocki
Joseph Kanabrocki, PhD, is the Associate Vice President for Research Safety and Professor of Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago. Dr. Kanabrocki is tasked with instilling a culture that focuses on the health and well-being of all University personnel engaged in research activities. Dr. Kanabrocki is an expert in biosafety and biosecurity issues, especially practical ones arising from day-to-day laboratory work due to his appointment as Biological Safety Officer and Select Agent Responsible Official for the University of Chicago. Dr. Kanabrocki is a member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (NIH-RAC) and currently a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). Dr. Kanabrocki served as NSABB Working Group Co-Chair for the recent NSABB report released regarding Recommendations for the Evaluation and Oversight of Proposed Gain-of-Function Research. Dr. Kanabrocki received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.
Dr. Kara Morgan
Kara Morgan, PhD, is a Research Leader at Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle). Her work in public health policy analysis includes developing and evaluating data-driven decision support tools to support effective risk management decision making. She has worked extensively on risk assessment and in particular, on how results from risk assessments can be effectively integrated into decision making processes. Prior to working at Battelle, Dr. Morgan worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in several advisory and leadership positions for 10 years. Through her work supporting the National Nanotechnology Initiative during her time at FDA, in 2005 she published one of the first articles to establish a framework for informing risk analysis about nanoparticles. Her research in expert elicitation, decision analysis, and risk analysis have led to numerous publications developing and applying risk frameworks to decision making about microbial food safety and the pharmaceutical manufacturing quality. She is currently an adjunct professor at the John Glenn College for Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Dr. Morgan received her PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mr. Tom Slezak
Thomas R. Slezak, MS, is an Associate Program Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Mr. Slezak is a computer scientist, and manages a team of biologists and software engineers to find innovative solutions for diagnosing and characterizing dangerous pathogens. Mr. Slezak’s team has developed PCR assays, pan-microbial microarrays (recently commercialized by Affymetrix), and DNA sequence analysis software to support a broad range of pathogen detection and forensic programs in biodefense and human/animal health. Mr. Slezak co-chaired a Blue Ribbon Panel on bioinformatics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that led to new funding for the Advanced Molecular Detection program, and was a developer of the nationwide BioWatch system. Mr. Slezak has served on three National Academy of Sciences panels on biodefense topics, as well as the Academies’ Standing Committee on Biodefense Programs to Advise the Department of Defense. Mr. Slezak received his MS in Computer Science at the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Jill Taylor
Jill Taylor, PhD, is the Director of the Wadsworth Center and a Faculty Member of the Wadsworth School of Laboratory Sciences. The Wadsworth Center is the only research-intensive public health laboratory in the nation, and Dr. Taylor has served as its Director, Deputy Director, and Interim Director for the last 11 years. Dr. Taylor previously served as the Director of the Wadsworth Center’s Clinical Virology Program, which focused on introducing molecular technologies to ensure responsiveness to the state’s changing public health needs, with particular emphasis on influenza virus. As a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the CDC's Office of Infectious Diseases, and a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, she also contributes to policy discussions at the national level. Dr. Taylor is well-versed in developing future research agendas and analysis of new policy proposals and their implications. Dr. Taylor received her PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Committee Membership Roster Comments

Effective March 24, 2017, membership has changed with the resignation of Dr. David R. Walt.


Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest: Patrick Boyle

In accordance with Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the "Academy shall make its best efforts to ensure that no individual appointed to serve on [a] committee has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the functions to be performed, unless such conflict is promptly and publicly disclosed and the Academy determines that the conflict is unavoidable." A conflict of interest refers to an interest, ordinarily financial, of an individual that could be directly affected by the work of the committee. As specified in the Academy's policy and procedures (http://www.nationalacademies.org/coi/index.html), an objective determination is made for each provisionally appointed committee member whether or not a conflict of interest exists given the facts of the individual's financial and other interests and the task being undertaken by the committee. A determination of a conflict of interest for an individual is not an assessment of that individual's actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest.

We have concluded that for this committee to accomplish the tasks for which it was established its membership must include among others, at least one person who is currently and directly engaged in the synthetic biotechnology industry with a focus on the large scale development of organisms using synthetic biology..

To meet the need for this expertise and experience, Dr. Patrick Boyle is proposed for appointment to the committee even though we have concluded that he has a conflict of interest because he is an employee of Ginkgo Bioworks, whose financial interests could be affected by the outcome of the study.

As his biographical summary makes clear, Dr. Boyle is an expert in organism design aspects of synthetic biology. He has current industry experience engineering organisms using synthetic biology tools at a company focused on making and selling organisms, with the scale of organism production not observed in academic laboratories. This experience provides a unique lens on both the ability to engineer organisms and a broad knowledge of the effectiveness of DNA design tools in engineering organisms with particular characteristics. This expertise and experience in the design of large numbers of organisms is critical to the ability of the committee to fulfill its task. We believe that Dr. Boyle can serve effectively as a member of the committee and that the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the work.

After an extensive search, we have been unable to find another individual with Dr. Boyle’s specialized experience in the large scale production of organisms who does not have a similar conflict of interest. Therefore, we have concluded that this potential conflict is unavoidable.

Events



Location:

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Way, Irvine, CA 92617
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
February 1, 2018
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM CLOSED SESSION

February 2, 2018
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM CLOSED SESSION
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Michael Imperiale
Peter Carr
Joseph Kanabroki
Kristala Jones Prather
Jill Taylor
Patrick Boyle
Douglas Densmore
Andrew Ellington
Charles Haas
Kara Morgan


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Discussed committee member’s coming to consensus
2) Discussed findings
3) Information discussed during the open sessions.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
February 09, 2018


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
October 5th, 2017
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM CLOSED SESSION

October 6th, 2017
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM CLOSED SESSION
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Michael Imperiale
Peter Carr
Joseph Kanabroki
Kristala Jones Prather
Jill Taylor
Patrick Boyle
Douglas Densmore
Andrew Ellington
Charles Haas
Kara Morgan
Thomas Slezak.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Discussed committee member’s drafts of text
2) Discussed potential findings
3) Information discussed during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
October 13, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
The study’s next in-person meeting will be held on August 23-24, 2017 at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines' Keck Center located at 500 5th ST. NW, Washington, DC 20001. The committee will be holding a short open session on August 23rd from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT with Dr. Chris Hassell of U.S. Department of Defense so that he may share his thoughts with the committee on the interim report. Please note that this session may not last the full two hours. To listen, please dial 1-(866) 668-0721 and use conference code 380 454 1676. If you would like to come in person, please email jnguyen@nas.edu.

August 23, 2017
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM Closed Session
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Open Session
Dr. Chris Hassell of U.S. Department of Defense so that he may share his thoughts with the committee
on the interim report
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM Closed Session

August 24, 2017
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Tentative Open Session to replace previous day's open session with Dr. Chris Hassell
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Session
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale (Chair)
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Dr. Douglas Densmore
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Dr. Charles N. Haas
Dr. Joseph Kanabrock
Dr. Kara Morgan
Dr. Kristala Jones Prather
Dr. Jill Taylor.


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Discussed committee member’s drafts of text
2) Discussed potential findings
3) Information discussed during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.



The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
August 31, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
Register Here: https://nasevents.webex.com/mw3200/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=nasevents&service=6&rnd=0.05408665393892065&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnasevents.webex.com%2Fec3200%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26%26%26EMK%3D4832534b00000004d232991edcdfddafa750aaba284d2880ec47995f87251c3f0f1ba622d9504c55%26siteurl%3Dnasevents%26confViewID%3D69742047471369618%26encryptTicket%3DSDJTSwAAAARO3JfrlDbQvQQD7Efr-iYhYmmIyYxGxG-WOFXWuLrLvQ2%26
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No



Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
Meeting 4: July 6, 2017

8:15 Registration outside Keck 100

9:00 Opening Remarks and Brief Review of Study
Michael Imperiale, Committee Chair
• Welcome to the Workshop
• Study Goals and Objectives
• Plan for the Day

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MILITARY PREPAREDNESS

9:10 Goal of Panel and Introduction of Speakers
Jill Taylor, Wadsworth Center (committee member)

9:20 Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS)
CDR Franca Jones, Chief, GEIS

9:35 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Steve Monroe, Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety, CDC

9:50 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
George Korch, Acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, HHS

10:05 Industry and Medical Countermeasures
Monique Mansoura, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering

10:20 Panel Discussion
Including all speakers and D. Christian Hassell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Chemical and Biological Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

11:00 Coffee Break

EFFICACY OF DESIGN

11:15 Goal of Panel and Introduction of Speakers
Patrick Boyle, Gingko Bioworks (committee member)

11:25 Improving strain reliability and genotype to phenotype design
• Harry Yim, Genomatica (remotely)
• Sriram Kosuri, University of California, Los Angeles

11:55 Directed evolution
Dan Tawfik, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (remotely)

12:10 Rational design
Howard Salis, Penn State

12:25 Panel Discussion

1:00pm Lunch (cafeteria on the 3rd floor of the Keck Center)


HUMAN MODULATION

2:00 Goal of Panel and Introduction of Speakers
Diane DiEuliis, National Defense University (committee member)

2:10 Neurological Engineering
Polina Anikeeva, MIT Bioelectronics Group

2:25 Immunological Engineering
Aaron P. Esser-Kahn, University of California, Irvine

2:40 Human Microbiome Engineering
Paul Miller, Chief Scientific Officer, Synlogic

2:55 Panel Discussion

3:30 Coffee Break


EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO OVERCOME EXISTING TECHNICAL BARRIERS

3:45 Goal of Panel and Introduction of Speakers
Tom Slezak, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (committee member)

3:55 Nanolipoprotein particles as an in vivo delivery platform
Amy Rasley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (remotely)

4:10 Viral gene transfer
Luk Vandenberghe, Harvard University

4:25 Panel Discussion

5:00 Public Comment Period (as necessary)

5:30 Wrap Up and Adjourn


Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale (Chair)
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Dr. Douglas Densmore
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Dr. Charles N. Haas
Dr. Joseph Kanabrock
Dr. Kara Morgan
Dr. Kristala Jones Prather
Mr. Tom Slezak
Dr. Jill Taylor.


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Discussed committee member’s drafts of text
2) Discussed potential findings
3) Information discussed during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.


The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
June 18, 2017


Location:

National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jarrett Nguyen
Contact Email:  jnguyen@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343978

Agenda
Although this is listed as a two day meeting, our open session will take place on the 25th only.

COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIES FOR IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING BIODEFENSE VULNERABILITIES
POSED BY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
Meeting 3: May 25, 2017

National Academies Building, Room 120
2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC


Meeting Objectives
• Session 1: DNA Synthesis, Assembly, and Engineering. This panel will identify the level of DNA synthesis and assembly that is achievable with current technology, as well as the edges of what is able to be done. It will identify challenges associated with synthesis, assembly, and using those parts to make a functional whole. It will use a case study to identify potential pitfalls in the current system of monitoring and screening, and will challenge all panelists to identify bottlenecks in their fields. One those bottlenecks are breached, what will become possible? Finally, the panel will identify areas of the field that may present biodefense vulnerabilities or could pose challenges in the future.
• Session 2: Virus Engineering, Transmissibility, and Zoonosis. This panel will interrogate our scientific knowledge/understanding of virus properties that cause harm and the ability to engineer/manipulate/exploit such properties in viruses. The current state of knowledge and capabilities will be described, as will our predicted knowledge and capabilities in 5 years and in the longer term.
• Session 3: Ease of Use. This panel will explore the techniques and approaches that synthetic biology provides that makes the field more accessible to those with less or no formal biology training. This panel will identify how standardized parts lower barriers to entry, what less skilled users are actually capable of, and how these barriers may continue to lower in the future.
• Session 4: Horizon-Scanning and Looking to the Future. This session will look at how the field of synthetic biology is evolving, and especially focus on what will have changed in five years and beyond. As part of this discussion, participants will be asked to consider what types of technological bottlenecks exist, and once breached, what new possibilities for synthetic biology may emerge.









8:00 Registration

8:30 Opening Remarks and Brief Review of Study
Michael Imperiale, Committee Chair
• Welcome to the Workshop
• Study Goals and Objectives
• Plan for the Day

8:45 Orientation to the Committee’s Framework/Approach


DNA SYNTHESIS, ASSEMBLY, AND ENGINEERING

9:00 Introduction of Speakers and Goal of Panel
Patrick Boyle, Ginkgo Bioworks (committee member)

9:05 DNA Synthesis and Read Length: What can be done, what can be ordered, and
what challenges exist?
Devin Leake, Ginkgo Bioworks

9:15 DNA Assembly: What is possible, how difficult is it, and what challenges exist?
John Glass, J. Craig Venter Institute

9:25 Using assembled DNA to create a pathogenic organism
Chris Anderson, University of California, Berkeley

9:35 What defense vulnerabilities exist due to advances in DNA synthesis and DNA
assembly?
Sarah Carter, Science Policy Consulting

9:45 De-novo horsepox: a case study
Gregory Koblentz, George Mason University

9:55 Panel Discussion
Moderated by Patrick Boyle

10:45 Coffee Break







VIRUS ENGINEERING, TRANSMISSIBILITY, AND ZOONOSIS

11:05 Introduction of Speakers and Goal of Panel
Andrew Ellington, University of Texas at Austin (committee member)


11:10 Animal Viruses, Evolution, and Zoonosis
Colin Parrish, Cornell University

11:20 Coronaviruses and Pathogen Engineering
Ralph Baric, University of North Carolina

11:30 What defense vulnerabilities exist due to our ability to predict and engineer virus
and pathogen evolution?
Todd Kuiken, North Carolina State University

11:40 Panel Discussion
Moderated by Andrew Ellington

12:20 Lunch

EASE OF USE

1:15 Introduction of Speakers and Goal of Panel
Peter Carr, Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(committee member)

1:20 What tools and communities should synthetic biology make true?
Drew Endy, Stanford (remotely)

1:30 What can “lesser skilled” actors really accomplish? How is the culture of synthetic biology impacting potential vulnerabilities?
Tom Burkett, Baltimore Underground Science Space (BUGSS)

1:40 Bioinformatics and design tools in the DIY community
Patrik D’haeseleer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (remotely)

1:50 What defense vulnerabilities exist due to advances in ease of use, lowering of
barriers to entry in synthetic biology, and synthetic biology’s culture of openness
and sharing?
Piers Millett, Biosecure Ltd (remotely)

2:00 Panel Discussion
Moderated by Peter Carr

3:00 Coffee Break
HORIZON-SCANNING AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

3:20 What is on the horizon for synthetic biology?
Moderated by Kristala Jones-Prather, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(committee member)

Emerging Technologies, Bottlenecks, and Horizon-Scanning
Richard Murray, Cal Tech (remotely)

Open Discussion with all attendees

4:20 Statements from the Public
Members of the public must register with a member of NAS staff to make a statement. These statements should inform the committee of an opinion held by the member of the public, or provide information that the committee has not yet received. This portion of the meeting is not intended to be a question and answer session.

5:30 Meeting Wrap Up and Adjourn



To Register: https://synbio.eventbrite.com
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale (Chair)
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Dr. Douglas Densmore
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Dr. Joseph Kanabrock
Dr. Kara Morgan
Dr. Kristala Jones Prather
Mr. Tom Slezak
Dr. Jill Taylor.


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Group writing/drafting of text
2) Discussed information needs
3) Information to be discussed during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.


The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
May 29, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Tamara Dawson
Contact Email:  SynBioDefense@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3428777/SynBioMtg2

Agenda
Please note: if you are a member of the public and would like to attend the open question and answer session with the sponsor in person, you must register at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3428777/SynBioMtg2. Registration will remain open until Monday, March 27, 2017 or until spaces are filled.

******************************************************************************
Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 5th Street NW
Keck 206
Washington, DC 20001

March 30, 2017 | 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern*

3:00pm
Question and Answer Session with Sponsor
D. Christian Hassell, DOD

4:30 Adjourn Open Session

March 31, 2017 | 9:00am-10:30am Eastern*

9:00am
“Back Up” Question and Answer Session with Sponsor
D. Christian Hassell, DOD
(Note: This session will be canceled if the 3/30 session takes places as scheduled.)

10:30 Adjourn Open Session

*Exact meeting times are subject to change.

*****************************************************************************
Please note: if you are a member of the public and would like to attend the open question and answer session with the sponsor in person, you must register at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3428777/SynBioMtg2. Registration will remain open until Monday, March 27, 2017 or until spaces are filled.

The Keck Center is a secure building, so we must have your name on a list at the security desk to allow you access into the facility. Relatedly, space in Room 206 is limited, so you may be asked to participate via WebEx teleconference if all seats are taken.

To join the open session remotely:

• Navigate to: https://nationalacademies.webex.com/nationalacademies/j.php?MTID=mb3d12c428d1e0e184d5fe739fdddeeca
• If prompted, provide your name and email address and the meeting password: nassynbio
• Click the green “join” button
• Please select the option to run a temporary application to launch WebEx on your computer (this will hopefully negate firewall issues.) If you can use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to launch the web browser, that is also preferable to Internet Explorer – we encounter many issues with IE and WebEx.
• Once the WebEx program begins, you will be asked (on the left side of the page) how you could like to connect with audio. Please choose to have the program call you directly – this will link your audio line to your name on the screen sharing page, which will make it easier for NAS staff to manage the call.
• Should the call you directly feature not be working, direct dial-in access is as follows:
o 1-866-668-0721 and enter conference code 817 897 5364
• You will be muted for the duration of the open session as this is a conversation between the sponsor and the committee and is not a workshop, so we will not be accepting any questions or comments from anyone outside of the sponsor or his team.

Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale (Chair)
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Dr. Charles N. Haas
Dr. Joseph Kanabrocki
Dr. Kara Morgan
Dr. Kristala Jones Prather
Mr. Tom Slezak
and Dr. Jill Taylor.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Standard Academies discussion of policies, procedures, bias, and conflict of interest.
2) Committee’s statement of task and its approach to its task.
3) Information discussed during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
April 08, 2017


Location:

via teleconference - dial-in information is below
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  SynBioDefense@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
Committee will be receiving a briefing from Dr. Megan Palmer via webinar on March 23, 2017 from 3pm - 4pm EST. Members of the public are invited to join the webinar, but the webinar's primary purpose is to provide dialogue between committee members and speakers. If time allows, questions from the public will be permitted.

To access the webinar please follow the directions below:
1) Navigate to: https://nationalacademies.webex.com/nationalacademies/j.php?MTID=m0adc178f7a13649b140a1dcc14627a67
2) If prompted, provide your name and email address and the meeting password: nassynbio
3) Click the green "join" button
4) If you are using the WebEx interface for the first time, please select the option to run a temporary application to launch WebEx on your computer.
5) Once the WebEx program begins, you will be asked (on the left side of the page) how you would like to connect with audio. Choose either to have the program call you, or dial 1-(866) 668-0721 and, when prompted, type in conference code 380 454 1676#
6) Note that your microphone will be muted when you enter the webinar. PLEASE keep your microphone muted throughout the duration of the webinar, until prompted by the committee chair that we will be accepting questions from the public. Background noise and audio feedback are extremely disturbing and disruptive.
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No



Location:

via teleconference - dial-in information is below.
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  SynBioDefense@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
Committee will be receiving a briefing from Dr. Jens Kuhn and Dr. Roger Brent via webinar on March 10, 2017 from 10am - 11am EST. Members of the public are invited to join the webinar, but the webinar's primary purpose is to provide dialogue between committee members and speakers. If time allows, questions from the public will be permitted.

To access the webinar please follow the directions below:
1) Navigate to: https://nationalacademies.webex.com/nationalacademies/j.php?MTID=madd4f2bfd835cc01d84c9e4b6225e7d9
2) If prompted, provide your name and email address and the meeting password: nassynbio
3) Click the green "join" button
4) If you are using the WebEx interface for the first time, please select the option to run a temporary application to launch WebEx on your computer.
5) Once the WebEx program begins, you will be asked (on the left side of the page) how you would like to connect with audio. Choose either to have the program call you, or dial 1-(866) 668-0721 and, when prompted, type in conference code 380 454 1676#
6) Note that your microphone will be muted when you enter the webinar. PLEASE keep your microphone muted throughout the duration of the webinar, until prompted by the committee chair that we will be accepting questions from the public. Background noise and audio feedback are extremely disturbing and disruptive.
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No



Location:

National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Tamara Dawson
Contact Email:  SynBioDefense@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  TO ATTEND VISIT: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/SynBioMtg1

Agenda
**********Please indicate your intent to attend in person by visiting: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/SynBioMtg1.**********

Please note that this is a draft agenda with details and session timing subject to change. The meeting will not be webcast or available via teleconference. Space will be available on a first come basis, with overflow space utilized if needed.

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Building
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20418
(across street from State Department, 15 min walk from Foggy Bottom metro station).

January 26, 2017
10:30am-5:00pm Eastern*
*Exact meeting times are subject to change.

10:30am
Welcome and Introduction to the Committee
Michael Imperiale, Chair

10:40am
Presentation of Committee Charge
D. Christian Hassell, DOD

11:25am
Brief Overview of Synthetic Biology
Michael Jewett, Northwestern University (remote)

12:10pm
Break for Lunch

12:45pmm
Needs of Non-Sponsor Agencies - Panel Discussion (5 mins opening remarks from other agencies, followed by discussion)
• D. Christian Hassell, DOD
• Lawrence Kerr, HHS
• Carolyn M. Floyd, UCIA
• Susan Coller-Monarez, DHS

1:30pm
PCAST Letter to the President on Action Needed to Protect Against Biological
Attack
Christopher Chyba, Princeton University (remote)
David Relman, Stanford University (remote)

2:00pm
JASON Gene Editing Study
Ronald Breaker, Yale University (remote)

2:30pm
Break

2:45pm
Gleanings from Related Gryphon Studies
Rocco Casagrande, Kavita Berger, Corey Meyer, Ryan Ritterson
Gryphon Scientific

3:20pm
Strategies and Frameworks for Identifying Advances of Significance
Megan Palmer, Stanford University (remote)

4:15pm
Discussion of Issues with Committee, Invited Panelists and Sponsor

5:00pm
Additional Charge Clarification

5:30pm
Adjourn Open Session


January 27, 2017
2:00pm -3:00pm Eastern*
*Exact meeting times are subject to change.

2:00pm
Further Clarification of Charge with Sponsor
D. Christian Hassell, DOD
(Note: This session will be canceled or truncated if a full hour is not needed.)

3:00pm
Adjourn Open Session
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dr. Michael J. Imperiale (Chair)
Dr. Patrick M. Boyle
Dr. Peter A. Carr
Dr. Douglas Densmore
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
Dr. Andrew Ellington
Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Dr. Charles N. Haas
Dr. Joseph Kanabrocki
Dr. Kara Morgan
Mr. Tom Slezak
Dr. Jill Taylor
and Dr. David R. Walt.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1) Standard Academies discussion of policies, procedures, bias, and conflict of interest.
2) Committee’s statement of task and its approach to its task.
3) Information presented during the open session.
4) Committee assignments, project schedule, and agendas for future meetings.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

SynBio-1
Kavita M. Berger, Gryphon Scientific, LLC
Email with attachment
January 24, 2017
Casagrande, R. C. Meyer, and K. Berger. 2017. Assessing Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology: Insights from Related Gryphon Studies. (PowerPoint presentation)

SynBio-2
D. Christian Hassell, Department of Defense
Email with attachment
January 25, 2017
Hassell, D.C. 2017. Synthetic Biology (PowerPoint presentation)

SynBio-3
Michael C. Jewett, Northwestern University
Email with attachment
January 26, 2017
Jewett, M.C. 2017. Synthetic Biology: Transforming Medicine, Technology, and Society (PowerPoint presentation)

SynBio-4
Christopher F. Chyba, Princeton University
Email with attachment
January 26, 2017
Chyba, C.F. 2017. Action Needed to Protect against Biological Attack: Working Group (PowerPoint presentation)

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
February 02, 2017

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office
Publications

No data present.