UW-Madison Conference to Explore Global Biological Threats


DATE: March 9, 2006

CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590, rlhess@wisc.edu


Madison, WI – Leading government and academic experts from Washington, D.C. and Madison will address key issues and questions surrounding global biological threats in an all-day symposium on the UW-Madison campus, Friday, April 7, 2006, in Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave.

The conference is designed to build bridges between the university and the public, and across the natural and social sciences, as well as to increase the capacity to confront bioterrorism and emerging diseases. Discussions will examine how the U.S. and the State of Wisconsin are preparing to meet the threats to human security of bioterrorism and diseases such as H5N1 avian influenza. The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at wage@intl-institute.wisc.edu.

“Global biological threats follow not only from malevolent human acts, they also emerge as inadvertent consequences of changes in climate, landscape, and agricultural practices,” says Alison Alter, associate director of the UW’s Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), the conference’s lead sponsor. “Understanding the origins, risks, and possible solutions to these problems demands a multi-faceted response.”

Conference sessions include:

  • The keynote address, “Disease as a National Security Threat,” by Eric Noji, M.D., Senior Policy Advisor for Health and National Security for the CDC in Washington, D.C.; and formerly associate director for bio-emergency preparedness and response with the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia,
  • Jonathan Patz, M.D., M.P.H., WAGE Senior Fellow, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Department. of Population Health Sciences, UW-Madison, on “Emerging Disease Threats from Ecological Change,”
  • Hon Ip, Ph.D., Virologist,USGSNational Wildlife Health Center on “Avian Influenza: How Close Are We to a Pandemic?”
  • Josh Dein, V.M.D., M.S., USGS National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, on “Wildlife Health Monitoring Network,”
  • Donald Moynihan, Ph.D., La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Madison, on “Public Management Perspectives on Foreign Animal Diseases,”
  • Vicki Bier, Ph.D., Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, UW-Madison, on “Pandemic Planning: The Needs of the Private Sector,”
  • Mary Proctor, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director of the Southcentral Wisconsin Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Consortium, on “Ready or Not: Preparedness at the Local Level.”

The UW-Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), a member program of the International Institute, a joint initiative of the Division of International Studies and the College of Letters & Science, organized this symposium. Other sponsors include the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the Department of Population Health Sciences, the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, the Center for Global Health, University Research Park, the WI Department of Natural Resources, the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection, the WI Department of Health and Family Services and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center.

For more information on the symposium, http://wage.wisc.edu/Events/index.aspx?ID=58