Bioterrorism detection

Research program: 
The challenge: 

High risk biological agent events, epidemics and bioterrorism are issues we are increasingly facing in the 21st century. It is important to improve surveillance systems, rapid epidemic intelligence, modelling, risk analysis, policy, capacity building, health leadership and stakeholder engagement to enable early identification, prevention and control of pandemics and epidemics of natural or unnatural origin.

The project: 

The bioterrorism detection project is focused on developing a series of advanced risk analysis tools for the rapid surveillance, risk prediction, sensitive differentiation between natural and unnatural disease outbreaks, and preparedness for bioterrorism.

The method: 

Based on the existing risk analysis tools for bioterrorism detection, we create new criteria, calibrate and refine tools with validation against various epidemic scenarios. It involves the novel syndrome surveillance, health intelligence identification, mathematical modelling, algorithm for risk analysis, and phylogeography to identify biological threats.

The results: 

We develop risk assessment tools for rapid bioterrorism detection with high sensitivity and specificity. The tools are user-friendly, transparent and applicable into various disease scenarios by public health officers, frontline healthcare workers, military, intelligencers and other staff confronted by epidemics and emerging infections.

The impact: 

The refined tools will be integrated into routine outbreak investigation and epidemic response. It will provide practical, tested and rigorously researched results for public health institutions and government agencies responsible for epidemic intelligence, outbreak response and biosecurity. The project will be a major contribution to health security from pandemic and bioterrorism threats. 

Project contact: 
PhD Candidate/Research Assistant