November 28, 2000
MEDIA CONTACT : Gary Stephenson
The Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies (CCBS), established two years ago to respond to the threat of bioterrorism, was awarded a $3.5 million grant by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
"This generous grant from the Sloan Foundation will let The Center pursue issues important to national security and public health," said D.A. Henderson, M.D., M.P.H., the person credited with leading the World Health Organizationís successful fight to eradicate smallpox from the world, and director of the CCBS. "This investment will result in contributions to human security everywhere and will lessen the chance that biological weapons are ever used."
The grant, to be paid over a three-year period, will support initiatives in:
- Education and outreach programs targeting physicians, scientists, policymakers, media and others
- Prevention of bioterrorism and use of biological weapons
- Development of public health infrastructures to respond to epidemics
- Management of medical consequences of bioterrorism
- Development of a national research agenda for reducing the threat of biological weapons.
"There is wide agreement in national security circles that biological weapons represent a serious threat to U.S. military forces and to American civilians," Henderson says. "Such an event would constitute both a national security crisis and a public health emergency."
"The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies is committed to gaining better understanding of how society might avoid the use of technologies for destructive purposes and how, if prevention fails, to minimize human suffering and loss of life,"says Tara OíToole, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director of the Center and former assistant secretary of energy for environment, safety and health. "By making prudent preparations and putting in place the essential public health and medical systems needed to respond to an attack, we would significantly decrease the amount of suffering and death that would otherwise occur."
The Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies was established in 1998 to raise awareness and understanding of the threats posed by biological weapons and to help guide development of medical, public health and government policies for responding to this threat.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit institutions, was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then president and CEO of the General Motors Corporation. The foundationís programs and interests fall into several areas, including science and technology, standard of living and economic performance, education and careers in science and technology, and national issues and civic programs.