Dr. John Lednicky participates in a Mitre Corporation sponsored workshop in Washington, DC
Dr. John Lednicky and 4 other world renowned virologists were invited to give ‘state-of-the-science’ presentations at a workshop in Washington, DC that was hosted by the Mitre Corporation. The Mitre Corporation is an American not-for-profit organization that manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers supporting several U.S. government agencies. Titled “Trends in Virology Research,” the workshop was for an audience consisting of science leaders from numerous US Government Agencies. The other speakers were Drs. Ian Lipkin, Jonathan Dinman, Erica Ollmann Saphire, and Nikos Vasilakis. The workshop was designed to inform decision makers about the state of contemporary virology and future directions in research. Lednicky stressed that new viruses, such as MERS coronavirus, continue to emerge, while known viruses spread, and public health agencies are unable to adequately cope with these events. Surprisingly, the U.S. does not have a formal mechanism or funding for rapid response to virus outbreaks, and some countries such as China are now outspending the U.S. in virus-related research. Dr. Lednicky’s talk, “Detection and Isolation of Viruses from Medical Specimens and Aerosols,” was one of three talks that highlighted the need for virus surveillance and rapid response mechanisms for outbreak investigations and the development of technological advances of virus aerosol collection systems.