The Global Health Security Seminars from Georgetown University, are looking at some of the biggest challenges that the scientific world is facing, and has recently focussed on this year’s dominant issue – COVID-19. This new era of epidemic risk has collided with the beginnings of a revolution in biology and in this, we may have been very fortunate. In this presentation Ryan Morhard of Ginkgo Bioworks considered the ways that DNA synthesis, next-generation sequencing, and other components of the emerging bioeconomy are being applied to end this pandemic and proposed that a robust bioeconomy offers dramatically better and more reliable ways to prevent, detect, and respond to future epidemics and pandemics.
About Ryan – he is with Ginkgo Bioworks where he works on Concentric, which uses Ginkgo’s synthetic biology platform to provide large-scale testing and support development of vaccines and therapeutics. He previously led the World Economic Forum’s work on global health security and biological risks and served as branch chief for international partnerships at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leading engagement in partnerships to support domestic and international response to Ebola, Zika, and other public health emergencies, as well as to strengthen collective preparedness. Morhard received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and studied neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh.
More about the bioeconomy and the COVID-19 pandemic:
Expert View: Challenges in communicating synthetic biology