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Biodefense expert to discuss readiness of U.S. public health system, March 4

A lecture on "Bioterrorism and the U.S. Public Health System" will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 4, in Bowl 1, Robertson Hall.

Tara O'Toole, director of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will speak. She also is an assistant professor of public health at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, which is dedicated to informing policy decisions and promoting practices that will help prevent the future use of biological weapons.

O'Toole was assistant secretary of energy for environment, safety and health from 1993 to 1997, serving as the principal adviser on matters pertaining to environment, safety and health policies and including effective oversight of Department of Energy safeguards and security policies. During her tenure, she conducted four "vulnerability studies" that identified major safety and environmental hazards at the nation's nuclear weapons complexes and focused on the most serious threats.

She is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense's science board summer panel on biodefense technologies and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene steering group on public health response to weapons of mass destruction events, in addition to other advisory and consultative positions related to bioterrorism preparedness.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs .

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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