Venkayya Headshot

Dr. Rajeev Venkayya

Dr. Venkayya is the CEO of Aerium Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company dedicated to epidemic and pandemic preparedness through the development of antibodies and antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases. He is the former President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he built and led a vertically integrated global business developing vaccines for dengue (recently licensed in Brazil, Europe and Indonesia), as well as norovirus, Zika and pandemic threats. Dr. Venkayya serves as an independent member of the board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). He was previously Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House, where he was the principal author of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, and prior to that a White House Fellow. He previously served as Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and on the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. He trained and served on the faculty in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at UCSF, and in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, including as Chief Medical Resident. He received his M.D. from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Gregory Koblentz Headshot

Dr. Gregory D. Koblentz

Gregory D. Koblentz is an Associate Professor and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. The Biodefense Graduate Program is a multidisciplinary research and education program designed to prepare students to work on issues at the nexus of health, science, and security and bridge the gap between science and policy. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Pandora Report, an online newsletter that covers global health security, and co-director of the Global BioLabs Initiative that tracks high containment labs and biorisk management policies around the world. Dr. Koblentz is an Associate Faculty at the Center for Security Policy Studies at George Mason. He is a member of the Scientist Working Group on Biological and Chemical Security at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, DC and the Security Working Group of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). In 2016, he briefed the United Nations Security Council on the impact of emerging technologies on the threat posed by non-state actors armed with weapons of mass destruction. He serves as a pro bono advisor for the Open Society Justice Initiative, as a consultant for the Stimson Center on their cheminformatics program, and is a member of the Biothreat Advisory Board of Nighthawk Biosciences.

Prior to arriving at George Mason, Dr. Koblentz was a visiting assistant professor in the School of Foreign Service and Department of Government at Georgetown University. He has also worked for the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr. Koblentz is the author of Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age (Council on Foreign Relations, 2014) and Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security (Cornell University Press, 2009) and co-author of Global Biolabs Report 2023 (2023), Mapping Maximum Biological Containment Labs Globally (2021), Editing Biosecurity: Needs and Strategies for Governing Genome Editing (2018), and Tracking Nuclear Proliferation: A Guide in Maps and Charts (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1998). His research and teaching focus on understanding the causes and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons to state and non-state actors, global biorisk management, and the impact of emerging technologies on international security. He received a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Larry Kerry Headshot

Dr. Larry Kerr

Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Kerr is the Deputy Vice President, Global Health & Multilateral Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), representing America’s and international biopharmaceutical research companies to seek alignment between public policy and medical research to address patient needs. He leads PhRMA’s engagement on global health issues, developing and implementing strategies, alliance development, diplomatic engagement platforms, and communications related to PhRMA’s priorities in multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as multilateral forums like the G7 and G20.

Previous to his role at PhRMA, Dr. Kerr was the Director, Pandemic and Emerging Threats at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office Global Affairs where he oversaw a policy portfolio including the Global Health Security Agenda 2024 policy development and implementation, pandemic influenza preparedness, WHO R&D Blueprint efforts on emerging threats, countering antimicrobial resistance, and security policy issues (biosafety and biosecurity, biothreat prevention, and dual-use research of concern). Dr. Kerr has also served as the Director for Medical Preparedness Policy at the White House National Security Council staff as the principal staff member responsible for coordinating policy on public health and medical resilience for biological events, including his role on the Ebola Task Force. He previously served as the Director for Biodefense Policy with the White House Homeland Security Council in the Executive Office of the President (EOP). He served as Assistant Director for Homeland Security for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

As an Assistant Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville TN from 1993-2002, Dr. Kerr ran a basic science laboratory devoted to the study of gene regulation in HIV replication and breast cancer development.  He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters. Dr. Kerr completed his PhD in Cell Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1990 and undertook his post-doctoral work at the Salk Institute in San Diego, CA.  Dr. Kerr is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC.

Dr. Angie Rasmussen headshot

Dr. Angela (Angie) Rasmussen, PhD is a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research focuses on the role of the host in virus susceptibility and pathogenesis, with a particular interest in emerging viruses that are or have the potential to be major threats to global health, such as avian influenza virus, dengue virus, Ebola virus, mpox (monkeypox) virus, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Her work combines classical experimental virology and animal models with systems biology approaches to study the global response to infection and how that contributes to pathogenesis or protection from emerging pathogens.