Fireside Chat

The Advent of "The Synthetic Age":
How Synthetic Biology Will Shape the Future of U.S. Competitiveness

WATCH RECORDING

Aug 24, 2022

1 - 2 PM Eastern Time

WATCH RECORDING


With the advent of synthetic biology, it’s now possible to engineer and manipulate living systems. We're entering a new era where the relationship between the human world and the artificial world will become increasingly important.

How will this come to define our future world? What countries are leading advancements in this emerging field? How can the U.S. remain competitive? This Fireside Chat will help you understand the many implications of synthetic biology to our life and what it means for policymakers.

Our guest speaker is Andrew Kilianski, senior director for emerging infectious diseases at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and adjunct professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Government. Prior to IAVI, Kilianski was a senior scientist and program manager at the U.S. Department of Defense.

The discussion will be moderated by Beth Sanner, Professor of Practice at the Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland and former Deputy Director for National Intelligence.

This event is open to the general public. Please share this page with others!

About INFER

INFER is a forecasting program designed to generate valuable signals and early warning about the future of science and technology trends and high-risk geopolitical events for U.S. Government policymakers. INFER empowers its community of forecasters to have a direct impact on policy and decision-making. The public portion of INFER is one of multiple forecasting sites to be operated as part of this program.

INFER is run by the non-profit Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland and Cultivate Labs. Funding for this program has been provided by a grant from Open Philanthropy.

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Speakers

Andrew Kiliansky

Andy Kilianski is senior director for emerging infectious diseases at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and an adjunct professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Government. At IAVI, he leads strategy development, key stakeholder engagement, and current and future execution of IAVI's growing emerging infectious disease vaccine and therapeutic portfolio. 

Prior to IAVI, Kilianski was a senior scientist and program manager at the U.S. Department of Defense. He has led numerous scientific, analytic, and programmatic efforts to counter emerging threats internationally and within the U.S. working collaboratively with a variety of government, NGO, and foreign partners. He started his scientific career as a National Academy of Sciences fellow, working as a principal investigator on research programs aimed at characterizing emerging infectious disease threats with next-generation sequencing and multi-omics approaches.

Kilianski teaches courses on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosurveillance Policy and Implementation in the Biodefense Graduate Program.

He received his PhD in microbiology and immunology from Loyola University Chicago where he discovered virus-host interactions necessary for coronavirus pathogenesis. These virus-host interactions were also leveraged for rational coronavirus vaccine design and antiviral drug development.

Beth Sanner

For 35 years, Beth Sanner served in a wide range of leadership, staff, policy, and analytic positions in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Department of State. She ended her government career in 2021, having served as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Mission Integration for two years, during which she oversaw collection, analysis, and program oversight throughout the Intelligence Community. In this role, she also was the President’s intelligence briefer. Previously Ms. Sanner was the Director of the President’s Daily Brief, Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a senior leader in CIA’s Directorate of Analysis. She is currently a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a professor-in-practice at University of Maryland’s Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security, and a CNN national security analyst.

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