Mr. Alburty has thirty years of experience in environmental monitoring and biosurveillance. Beginning at Midwest Research Institute (MRIGlobal) in Kansas City his work as a staff research scientist centered on aerosol studies in environmental and biodefense applications. After serving fifteen years at MRI, Dave founded an aerosol science and engineering R&D test and evaluation/product development lab. Subsequently, he founded a product development engineering company seeking to make the world a better and safer place.

Defense Threat Reduction Agcy

Research Microbiologist

Dr. R. Cory Bernhards is a Research Microbiologist for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Research and Stem Center of Excellence Division (CBR) and conducts research in the BioSensors Branch at CCDC Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. His research focuses on the development of novel identification systems for biothreat agents including rapid sample preparation, field-deployable isothermal amplification, and nanopore genomic sequencing technologies. Previously, Dr. Bernhards was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Ft. Detrick, MD where he gained extensive BSL-3 research experience. His research focused on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, and he led an effort to design a Burkholderia peptide mimotope vaccine. In addition, Dr. Bernhards conducted decontamination research on Bacillus anthracis spores. Dr. Bernhards received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech in 2013 with an emphasis in molecular microbiology and protein biochemistry under the mentorship of Dr. Florian Schubot. His dissertation focused on elucidating the protein regulatory cascade of the type III secretion system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Dr. Bernhards also received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a minor in Chemistry.

Natl Strategic Research Institute at the Univ of Nebraska

Program Mgr

Paul Brantmier is a Senior Program Manager for the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) in the Field Operations and Training Directorate. He provides operations, training, and exercise planning support to the directorate for programs such as the All-Hazards Response Training (AHRT) and other projects through NSRI and/or the University of Nebraska for numerous agencies. He also manages the Expeditionary Biosurveillance Research and Training (XBRT) Program providing laboratory training and analytical exercise services domestically and abroad. Prior to NSRI, Paul was the Training Coordinator and Primary Instructor for the Field Identification of Biological Warfare Agents (FIBWA) Course hosted by the United State Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease where he trained hundreds of military, civilian, and sponsored personnel in various instruments and techniques for deployment by agency tasks, domestic biosurveillance support missions, or response operations, such as, the Epidemic in West Africa 2014. His utility as a trainer and exercise planner stem from his military experiences as the Environmental Science Officer for the 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team at the VI Army National Guard and also as the Preventive Medicine Officer for WI Army National Guard. He holds a MS in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, enjoys sailing, and long walks on the beach.

Associate Director Market Development

James Brayer is an Associate Director of Market Development at Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Inc. (ONT). He received his B.A. from Colby College. Mr. Brayer has over 30 years of cumulative experience in the Life Science and OMICS markets holding roles in market development, sales, marketing, technical sales, scientific support and basic research. James was one of the first members of the ONT commercial team. Led by his passion to help his customers utilize Oxford Nanopore's 'Nanopore Sensing' technology, James is focused on building awareness through public speaking, engaging with customers on novel and existing applications. James had the privilege to be directly involved with NASA's Biomolecule Sequencer Project to send the first MinION to the International Space Station and perform the first ever NGS sequencing in a zero gravity environment. He loves to discuss this project with anyone interested in learning more about it. He currently is a member of ONTs global market development team focusing on finding new market segments to utilize ONT's nanopore sequencing platform.

Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr

Research Biologist

Integrated Nano-Technologies, Inc.


Michael is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Michael founded INT in 2000 to develop field-able next generation diagnostic and detection systems. He has over two dozen patents issued and has been the principal investigator on several government research contracts. He has a PhD in molecular biology from Northwestern University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois Medical Center. After completing his JD at Cornell University, he practiced as a patent attorney at Nixon Peabody, LLP in Rochester. While at Nixon Peabody, he played a significant role in developing the licensing strategy for a major genetic sequencing enterprise, as well as patenting and licensing technologies for several other companies and universities.

Director of Engineering

As Director of Engineering at Akonni Biosystems, Dr. Cooney leads an innovative multi-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists in the pursuit of affordable, highly-informative diagnostics. Dr. Cooney draws upon more than 20 years of multi-disciplinary microfluidics and bioinstrumentation experience. Prior to serving as Director of Engineering at Akonni, Dr. Cooney was an Engineering Manager at Northrop Grumman's R&D Division where he led the development of a microfluidic cartridge for isothermal assays for biodefense applications. One of these isothermal assays became the first CLIA-waved molecular diagnostic (Alere ID NOW). Dr. Cooney is named on numerous publications, patents and grants. He currently oversees the development of high-confidence Lab-on-a-Film tests for diagnosing genetic and infectious disease.


Microbiologist. 20 years experience in microbial genomics, climate science, and biological agent detection.

microfluidic ChipShop GmbH


Dr. Claudia G?tner studied chemistry and biology and has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Dusseldorf Between 1996 and 1999, she worked as an assistant to the Director at the Institute for Microtechnology in Mainz (IMM), where she coordinated large scale international projects. In 1999 she was appointed Director of the Application Centre for Microtechnology in Jena. In 2002 she founded MFCS together with Dr. Holger Becker. Since April 2006 she is CEO of microfluidic ChipShop. In 2017, she was awarded a EU Prize for Women Innovators.

Founder, Catalyst, CEO

Dr. Hirschberg is the founder and CEO of the RAIN Incubator, an entity focused on developing talent, creating, jobs and forming and attracting companies to the South Puget Sound region. RAIN is also dedicated to exposing students, colleagues and community members to molecular tools for environmental surveillance and medical diagnostics. Dr. Hirschberg is a PI at the Center for Urban Waters and has appointments in the School of Engineering and School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT). Dr. Hirschberg trains South Sound students in critical thinking and fosters careers in biotechnology. Dr. Hirschberg's current projects center on developing accessible technologies that can rapidly detect microbial threats, and on assessing and optimizing devices for commercial, community and military applications. Dr. Hirschberg was a Science and Technology advisor supporting the Joint Program Executive Office and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC, US Army RDECOM). At ECBC, Dr. Hirschberg has been working with leadership to develop long term research programs in biosecurity that leverages technologies being developed in the commercial sector. Prior to the University of Washington, Dr. Hirschberg was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Immunology and Chief Technology Officer at the Center for Infection and Immunity at The Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons and also was a Founder and Director of the Human Immune Monitoring Core at Stanford University Medical School. Dr. Hirschberg has held senior scientist positions at Agilent Technologies and consulted for Roche Diagnostics. Dr. Hirschberg has over 30 years' experience with biotechnology start-up companies. Dr. Hirschberg earned his BS degree in Cell Biology from Washington State University, and MS and PhD degrees in Neuroimmunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel. He completed his postdoctoral training in Neuroimmunology at Stanford University.

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, U.S. Army

Principal Scientist - Group Leader

Dr. Randy Hofmann has been a cell and molecular biologist for over 18 years in both government and industry. Dr. Hofmann serves as the Technical Group Leader in support of the Defense Biological Products Assurance Office (DBPAO) at the U.S. Army Chemical & Biological Center (CBC) leading a team of 11-12 scientists for the future development of affinity reagents and immunoassays for the DBPAO. Dr. Hofmann has also been a PI of multiple Defense Threat Reduction Agency funded projects. Prior to joining the BioTechnology Branch at CCDC CBC in 2011, Dr. Hofmann spent time in industry at a regenerative medicine biotechnology company and five years in the oncology drug discovery group at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Hofmann completed his post-doctoral work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the University of Zurich. He has a Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

Sr Scientist

Dr. Joany Jackman received a BA in American Studies from Brandeis University; subsequently, she received a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Jackman received her PhD in the Program in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Vermont. Dr. Jackman began working in the area of infectious diseases at US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in 1997. The focus of this work was to develop novel methods of rapid pathogen identification and diagnosis of infection using mass spectrometry and microarray methodologies. Dr. Jackman joined the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in 2000 where she has continued her work in rapid pathogen identification and advises in biocontainment facility design and operations. In 2003 she received the Christopher Columbus Homeland Security Award in the area of Emergency Response. Dr. Jackman is developing methods to analyze breath for novel markers of infection. This technology uses proteins and lipids secreted by the host in response to pathogens in the lungs to detect signs of infection prior to the appearance of symptoms. The technique is non-invasive and rapid. Analysis is carried out using mass spectrometry of exhaled breath. Both the pattern of secreted proteins and the chronology of their production are used to identify infected individuals prior to the appearance of signs and symptoms. In 2005, she received Invention of the Year from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for her work in breath diagnostics. During the past eight years, Dr. Jackman has participated in technology reviews for Department of Defense such as Joint Program Executive Office and other military agencies and conducted technology reviews and testing for DARPA. Dr. Jackman is a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer where she provides presentations on Agroterrorism, Biothreat Detection, Breath as a Diagnostic, and the History of Bioterrorism. In addition, she has been an active member of the Maryland Fire Rescue Service in the Washington area and is certified to the level of EMT-B and Firefighter II.

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Lochhead is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MBio Diagnostics, Inc., a life sciences technology development company. Mike is a company co-founder and has overall responsibility for a multidisciplinary, integrated team of bioscience, engineering, and business professionals. Mike is also responsible for product and intellectual property strategy as well as directly supporting the CEO and Board of Directors in corporate strategy and fundraising. His major development programs at MBio focus on human clinical diagnostics, veterinary, and environmental testing. He has overall responsibility company operations and leads MBio's commercial partnerships. He is Principal Investigator on programs with the National Institutes of Health and DARPA. Prior to joining MBio, Mike successfully developed and commercialized microarray surface chemistry products while at Accelr8 Technology Corporation (now Accelerate Diagnostics). He is co-inventor on multiple issued and pending U.S. and international patents. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and completed his post-doctoral training in Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. He holds bachelor's degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Government from the University of Notre Dame.

Associate Professor

Dr. Aaron Mohs is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Mohs' research group is interested in developing fluorescent probes for a wide-range of applications, including, developing label-free biosensing probes for pathogen detection and as contrast agents for image-guided surgery. Dr. Mohs received his BA in Chemistry from St. John's University (MN), PhD in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and was a Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Distinguished Fellow at Emory University.

Northern Arizona University

Principal Investigator & Team Leader

Senior Consultant and Subject Matter Expert

Pejman Naraghi-Arani is a molecular virologist by training and an accomplished scientist, program manager, and business developer by experience. He has over 20 years of experience leading the development of multiplex molecular diagnostics and biomarkers for emerging health threats. He currently advises BARDA on funding and management of projects funding the development of wearable technologies for pre-symptomatic diagnosis of infectious disease

Operations and Analysis Section Chief

Sr Advisor

Matt Quinn serves as Senior Advisor for Health Technology for the Health Resources & Services Administration or HRSA, the primary federal agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.Matt was previously Managing Director of Intel's Healthcare and Life Sciences business on the East Coast, Director of Healthcare Initiatives for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), authored key NIST guidance on improving health IT usability and as a Senior Fellow at AHRQ, worked to realize the value of health technology in emerging models of care delivery. Before joining government, Mr. Quinn was the Healthcare Industry Manager for Teradata, responsible for healthcare strategy and partnerships, led GE Healthcare's "Six Sigma for Healthcare" consulting services and data analytic products, helped build an early health analytics company, and served as an Army Engineer Officer. Matt earned an engineering degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Colorado State University.

General Manager, ThreatSEQ

Neeraj focuses on biosecurity at Battelle where he works closely with the computational biology team on developing and commercializing ThreatSEQ - a web-based service that identifies DNA sequences of concern to reduce the risk that dangerous organisms will be created accidentally or deliberately through gene synthesis. He has nearly two decades of experience in biotech in both R&D and business development at various companies including Illumina and Luminex. His career has spanned everything from co-founding a venture-backed consumer genomics startup to early gene editing work at an agricultural biotech company. Neeraj received his BS in Biochemistry from UC San Diego and MBA from Vanderbilt University. He is currently based in Austin, TX.

Sr Scientist

Dr. Joseph Russell is a Senior Scientist at MRIGlobal, a non-profit contract research organization, focusing on the development of metagenomics-based solutions in clinical diagnostics, biosurveillance, and microbial forensics applications. Using emerging hand-held molecular hardware, customized bioinformatics software, and the development of integrated mobile platforms, Joe is working towards pushing genomics and metagenomics further afield, to the point-of-need. In 2017, Joe deployed to Sierra Leone to assist on-going training efforts in molecular diagnostics during the aftermath of the West Africa Ebola Virus epidemic. He started at MRIGlobal as a post-doc in 2015 after completing his Ph.D. in geomicrobiology at the University of Delaware. Joe's thesis work involved the use of metagenomics and cultivations to explore the microbial ecology of freshwater microbialites at Pavilion Lake in British Columbia (a NASA analog research site), as well as deep subseafloor sediment and oceanic crust samples. Joe has accumulated nearly 4 months at sea on several different oceanographic research vessels, collecting and studying seafloor samples from both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With his background across varied biological fieldwork operations and 'omics'-related technologies, Joe is seeking to bridge the logistical gap between deep molecular insights and the hard-to-reach samples from which they originate.

CCDC Chemical Biological Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground

Postdoctoral Fellow

Vishaka Santosh, Ph.D is a NRC postdoctoral fellow at the CCDC Chemical Biology Center working with the biodefense division at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Her research is focusing on developing rapid biothreat detection systems that are field-deployable. She recently completed her Ph.D in Physiology and Biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University studying the role that the non-structural Rep protein/DNA complexes play in the life cycle of Adeno-associated Virus (AAV) by utilizing cryo-EM.


Mary Sproull is a scientist in the Radiation Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. Her radiation biodosimetry work focuses on development of dose prediction animal models using a proteomic approach. She is also a doctoral student at George Mason University where she is pursuing her doctorate in Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterterrorism studies.

Postdoc Fellow

Zach Stromberg joined the Chemistry for Biomedical Applications team as a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 2018. He is a UC-LANL entrepreneurial postdoctoral fellow involved in understanding the commercial opportunities of technology developed at LANL. His current research focuses on developing rapid viral diagnostics and vaccines to combat emerging viruses. He is particularly interested in detection and prevention of highly diverse RNA viruses.

Research Biochemist


Shashi is the Chief Technology Officer with ImpediMed, Inc with responsibilities for setting company technical vision and leading the company's products, software technological development to include developing strategic plans and setting timelines for evaluation, development, and deployment of technical, infrastructure, cloud, web, mobile services, information security, and the company information systems. Prior to his current role, he was SVP, Technology and Operational Innovation at New Century Health where he was responsible for advancing the company's scalability and technology-enabled solutions capabilities and leads vital areas of operations for 8000+ providers and 9+ million members/patients. An accomplished healthcare technology and operations leader, Shashi brings 20 years of innovative experience in clinical decision support platform development, business applications, product management, service delivery and operational excellence. Prior to NCH, Shashi was the Chief Information Officer at Springfield Clinic, a leading multi-specialty clinic. Earlier in his career, he held IT application development, product management, systems management and other operational leadership roles at Facey Medical, St Jude Medical, IDEXX Laboratories, Medtronic, Inc., and i2 Technologies. Shashi is a published author, has been named among the CIO 100 by CIO Magazine and has been awarded the Best Patient Engagement Strategy and Medical Design Excellence awards. He is the active member of CHIME, HIMSS, a board member at implement HIT. He is the Lean, and Six Sigma certified. He holds a M.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from the Indian Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology.

Dir ArC GEM & Prof

Professor David Ussery was born and raised in Springdale, Arkansas. He has been working with bioinformatic analysis of bacterial genomes since the first sequence was published in 1995, and published one of the first text books in the field of Comparative Genomics. His team has published more than 200 papers, which have been cited more than 15,000 times, including two papers with more than a thousand citations. He has been a co-applicant on grants funded totaling more than $30 million, since 2010. His popular course on Comparative Genomics, taught at The Technical University of Denmark from 1997 - 2015, is now taught in the autumn semesters at UAMS; one-week workshops based on this course have been held in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Prof. Ussery has collaborative projects with groups in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, as well as in the U.S. Prior to joining UAMS, Dr. Ussery was the Comparative Genomics Group lead at Oak Ridge National Labs, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (2013-2016). He led the Comparative Microbial Genomics group at The Technical University of Denmark from 1997 - 2013, where he has successfully supervised more than 20 Ph.D. students in bioinformatics. Prof. Ussery received a doctorate in Molecular Biology in1993 from The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Oxford University (1992-1996). He earned his master's degree in biophysical chemistry at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri) in 1982, and graduated from Springdale High School (Springdale, Arkansas) in 1978.

Founder & CEO

Willy A. Valdivia is the founder and CEO of Orion Integrated Biosciences, Inc., where he heads a team of experts in genomics, computational biology, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Since 2003, his efforts have focused on the implementation of algorithms for the development of medical countermeasures against known and unknown biothreats. Supported by DHS-S&T-OUP, DHS-CBP, DoD, DTRA, USDA, NIH and the EU, Mr. Valdivia has a broad view of innovation and technology development for biodefense. In 2014 Mr. was named one of the four most successful Latin-American bio-entrepreneurs by the Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO). Currently, he leads or participates in sectors to support national security including a close collaboration the DHS Centers of Excellence. Willy Valdivia is the author of publications on data mining, genomics of infectious diseases, and bioterrorism and four book chapters on national security and policy. He serves as a subject matter expert for the US government and the European Commission and has active research projects in the US, Europe, and Africa, and Latin-America.

Sr Scientist

Neeraja has about 30 years of academics, government, and industry experience in diverse fields of life science research and development. She has worked on assay and device development using a variety of antibody and nucleic acid-based techniques for detection and diagnostics of infectious diseases, toxins, and other biomarkers for human and animal health. She is currently actively engaged in the development of multiplex assays for infectious diseases and cancer biomarkers.

US Dept of Health & Human Svcs

Program Analyst

Justin Yang is a Program Manager in the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Justin sets the strategy, executes the plan, and manages a portfolio of novel innovative sensors and diagnostics that can be integrated into daily life or made available over the counter to predict, diagnose, and prognosticate presymptomatic exposures to infectious disease and other pathogens.
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