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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Symposium to Discuss Health Care’s Role in Countering Bioterrorism

March 10th, 2011

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

By Brad Fischer

WHAT: Bioterrorism is a growing threat throughout the world that politicians and governments around the world are working to control. The keynote speaker at the first Missouri Symposium in Biophysics will discuss how the best method of countering threats from bioterrorism will come from the health infrastructure — not the military or politics.

Steven Block is the S.W. Ascherman Chair of Sciences in the Departments of Applied Physics and Biology at Stanford University and is a Senior Fellow of the Spogli Institute for International Studies. Block says biotechnology can create a new generation of bioterrorism weapons including genetically engineered pathogens.  He says today’s efforts are influenced by the non-proliferation treaty approaches used for the last half-century to limit nuclear weapons.

A host of other speakers will focus on single molecule biophysics. The event is sponsored by Mizzou Advantage, the Department of Biochemistry, the Department of Physics and the Division of Food Science and Engineering. Mizzou Advantage was created to increase MU’s visibility, stature and impact in higher education locally, statewide, nationally and around the world. It supports proposals that boost existing faculty and community networks, create new interdisciplinary collaborations, strengthen the student learning experience and propel Mizzou’s research to the next level.

WHO: Speakers include:

  • Steven Block, Stanford University
  • Yann Chemla, University of Illinois
  • Peter Cornish, University of Missouri
  • Andrew Gu, University of Missouri
  • Taekjip Ha, University of Illinois, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Gavin King, University of Missouri
  • Amit Meller, Boston University
  • Xiaowei Zhuang, Harvard University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

WHERE: Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center
Block’s presentation will take place in Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond Life Sciences Center.

WHEN: The Missouri Symposium in Biophysics takes place on March 10-11
Block will give his bioterrorism presentation 11 a.m., Thursday, March 10. He will be available for interviews from 1:30 – 2:20 p.m., in Room 200A in the Reynolds Journalism Institute

NOTE: For more information, visit: http://muconf.missouri.edu/biophysics/index.html or http://www.stanford.edu/dept/app-physics/cgi-bin/person/block-steven-m/

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