Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, have
expressed similar sentiments that there is an urgent and vital need to develop and implement innovative scientific technologies for the early detection and warning systems to reduce the prospect of, and preparedness for the recovery of a biological pathogen or a chemical attack on the Nation’s civilian population, its infrastructure, and/or its agricultural system.
The Biological Threats & Countermeasures team of CDHS scholars’ research will focus on the assessment, characterization and prioritization of chemical-biological threats; detection and warning systems; agro-defense and food security; biological countermeasures; and decontamination, restoration and medical response to biological threat events.
Assay - Research to develop fundamental understandings and methodologies (assays) that address the full spectrum of biological agents:
The outcomes of the Biological Threats and Countermeasures team would allow comparisons against highly flexible databases of information that uniquely identify threat agents, and seek to improve the tolerance of various assay types to common environmental contaminants and defines the input requirements for these assays.
The Chemical Threats and Countermeasures team of CDHS scholars’ research will focus on the physical and chemical analysis of sample matrix and trace materials associated with agents, to determine media components, growth conditions, production methods, and/or delivery matrix composition. In addition, the Chemical Threats and Countermeasures team will research elemental and isotopic analysis of both organic and inorganic components, improved imaging technology, to gain a better understanding of signatures of production.
The Food and Agriculture Security team of CDHS scholars will focus its research on improving the ratio of analyte of interest to background contaminant (AoI:BC) for both chemical and biological threats; research that enhances understanding of the factors that contribute to speed of analysis, especially where biological analysis is concerned; and research that helps improve and define the quality of samples that emerge from sample preparation in ways that are substantive to either instrumental or assay style analysis.
The BioEnergy team of CDHS scholars will focus its research on energy security and Sustainability that are complementary principles which enables the DOD and DHS to operate effectively and for extended periods in the face of diverse and changing conditions. In addition, the BioEnergy team will apply its capabilities in genomics to examine the production of next-generation renewable energy derived from biological sources such as soybean and wheat while also developing strategies, policies and practical applications to guide services and industry in meeting renewable energy goals.