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November 13, 2020

The Role of the Bioeconomy in Ending this Pandemic and Preventing the Next One

Event Series: Global Public Health Seminars

Showing the The Role of the Bioeconomy in Ending this Pandemic and Preventing the Next One Video

What happens when a new era of epidemic risk collides with the beginnings of a revolution in biology? With response to COVID-19, we are finding out. 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.

The Georgetown University Global Health Initiative (GHI) and Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security (GHSS) co-sponsored this event as part of the Global Health Security Seminar Series.


Ryan Morhard 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.