Dr. Nancy Connell is professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) -New Jersey Medical School. She is also director of the UMDNJ Center for BioDefense, which was established in 1999 and is the recipient of $11.5 million in congressional recommendations (2000-2006) for research into the detection and diagnosis of biological warfare agents and biodefense preparedness. Dr. Connell also is director of the Biosafety Level 3 Facility of UMDNJ’s Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens and chairs the Recombinant DNA Subcommittee of the university’s Institutional Biosafety Committee and she has worked with several international programs on dual use issues. She is past chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review Study Section HIBP (Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens, which reviews bacterial-pathogenesis submissions to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She is current chair of the F13 infectious diseases and microbiology fellowship panel. Dr. Connell’s involvement in biological weapons control began in 1984, when she was chair of the Committee on the Military Use of Biological Research, a subcommittee of the Council for Responsible Genetics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Connell received her Ph.D. in microbial genetics from Harvard University. Her major research focus is the interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the macrophage.
Dr. Clarissa Dirks has just begun a faculty position at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Clarissa earned her B.S. in Microbiology from Arizona State University and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. In her previous position at the University of Washington, she oversaw undergraduate programs funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, taught undergraduate courses in biology, and led professional development seminars for graduate students. As part of her science education research endeavors, she created educational materials that aim to engage students in active learning and develop their metacognitive skills. Her primary focus was to assist incoming freshman, particularly underrepresented minorities and those who are economically disadvantaged. She serves on local and national committees to enhance diversity in the sciences. As a faculty member at Evergreen, she is continuing this work in partnership with the Evergreen Native American Research Institute. Her scientific research aims to better understand the evolutionary principles that underlie the emergence, spread, and containment of infectious disease by studying the co-evolution of retroviruses and their primate hosts.
Dr. Mohamed El-Faham is Director of the Center for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP), Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt. His is also a Professor and Director of Power Systems Group at the Department of Electrical and Computer Control Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alexandria and his M.Sc. and D.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE). Dr. El-Faham is