Be taught and mentored by experts in the field of biodefense.

Program Leadership & Administration

Erin Sorrell, PhD

Co-Director & Assistant Professor, Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Disease Program

Faculty Profile

Leonard Rosenthal, PhD

Co-Director, Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Disease Program

Faculty Profile

Judie Kuo

Program Coordinator, Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Disease Program

Contact Information

Program Faculty


Mike Bray, MD, MPH

Mike Bray, MD, MPH, is the editor-in-chief of the journal Antiviral Research. His career in medicine began with two years as an Army medic in Vietnam, after which he completed premedical studies at the University of Oregon and attended Dartmouth Medical School. He then trained in pathology and worked for several years as a forensic pathologist in Washington, DC. After obtaining an MPH degree from Johns Hopkins, he began research at the National Institutes of Health, in a lab attempting to develop vaccines against dengue virus. In 1995, he transferred to USAMRIID at Fort Detrick, and spent eight years working in the BSL-4 containment laboratory, principally evaluating antivirals and vaccines against Ebola virus. He was also part of the team that tested antivirals against variola virus at the CDC in Atlanta. In 2002, Dr. Bray returned to NIH as a medical officer in NIAID, in a position that allowed time for writing, organization of workshops and teaching. He is author or co-author of some 140 research papers, review articles, and book chapters. He began lecturing in the Georgetown Masters program in 2004. Since retiring from NIH in 2016, he continues with teaching, writing, and his editorial position.   


Dawn C. Brown

Dawn C. Brown is the Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction – Proliferation Prevention Program, (J3CTP), Cooperative Threat Reduction Department, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  Ms. Brown oversees the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – Proliferation Prevention Program (WMD-PPP).  She is responsible for engaging partner countries with the goal of reducing the dangers of WMD.  Specifically, the Department strives to deny terrorists and states of concern access to WMD by strengthening their ability to prevent, deter, and interdict illicit trafficking in WMD, related materials, and technology. 

Ms. Brown previously was the Chief, Building Partnerships Division, Building Partner Capacity, where she not only engaged partner countries to address reducing WMD proliferation but also conventional weapon threats through counterproliferation programs.  In addition to managing the WMD-PPP effort, she oversaw the International Counterproliferation Program, the Regional Security Engagement Program, the Small Arms/Light Weapons, and the Threat Reduction Engagement Program. She coordinated with other United States (U.S.) government agencies in the planning, managing, equipping, and conduct of WMD-related training and seminars in partner countries.

Richard A. Calderone, PhD

Richard Calderone, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the MS Degree Program in Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy at The Georgetown University Medical Center. He is an internationally recognized leader in research on the human pathogen Candida albicans, the pathogenesis of invasive candidiasis, and the identification of antifungal drug targets. The research of his lab team is focused primarily on understanding gene functions related to pathogenesis, including signal transduction proteins related to cell wall synthesis, and mitochondrial energetics. Other lab research focuses on the identification of fungal-specific antifungal drug targets. Two proteins that fulfill this requirement are mitochondrial electron transport complex I (ETC1) subunits. Their fungal gene-specificity is associated with fungal-specific functions, such as cell wall mannan polysaccharide synthesis, virulence, and immunological activity.

John Casey, PhD

John Casey, Associate Professor at Georgetown University, investigates the molecular biology of viral hepatitis. Current efforts are focused on the molecular biology of hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a unique human pathogen that causes severe liver disease. There are 10 – 15 million people infected with HDV worldwide, and there is currently no therapy. The 1680nt circular HDV RNA genome is the smallest known to infect man and produces just one protein. It is thus not surprising that HDV relies heavily on host functions and that its RNA is replete with unusual functional properties. These properties make investigating this virus particularly interesting and rewarding for both molecular virologists and RNA biologists.

Michael F. Cole, BDS, MSc, PhD

Michael Cole, a Professor at Georgetown University, focuses on the mucosal immune system interacts with the commensal microbiota of the oropharynx. The research team pursues longitudinal studies of mother-infant pairs from birth to age two years examining the diversity of streptococci and secretory IgA antibodies in saliva.


William Daddio, PhD

Bill Daddio, PhD, is the retired Chief, U.S. Mint Police. He directed all security and law enforcement programs for U.S. Mints nationwide including the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. He provided advice and performed high-value asset security services for other governments and other U.S. Government agencies. In partnership with the Sandia National Laboratory, he conducted studies of chemical and biological agent dispersal in large buildings and developed chemical and biological agent mitigation programs for high-security facilities. During his tenure, the U.S. Mint Police developed into a nationally recognized law enforcement agency, and the organization was awarded the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial’s Distinguished Service Award.  Previously Dr. Daddio was a deputy U.S. Marshal and served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. 

Dr. Daddio has been an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown for over 30 years and teaches courses in the Sociology Department, Security Studies Program, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.  He has been awarded the Vi-centennial Medal and the Bunn award for faculty excellence.  Dr. Daddio provides advice to foreign governments about controlling transnational crime and corruption and is a senior advisor to a non-profit group created by a Georgetown medical student that provides surgical and medical services in international conflict areas.

Julie Fischer, PhD

Dr. Julie E. Fischer is a Research Associate Professor and co-director of the Master’s Program in Bioscience Policy and Advocacy in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University Medical Center.


Monte Hawkins

Monte Hawkins currently serves as the first Director of the National Vetting Center (NVC).  President Trump tasked the establishment of the NVC on February 6th, 2018 when he signed National Security Presidential Memorandum Nine (NSPM-9). 

Prior to this position, Monte served as the Senior Director for the Border and Transportation Security Directorate in the National Security Council (NSC) for both the Obama and Trump administrations where he coordinated policy development in areas such as aviation and maritime security, immigration, screening and watchlisting, biometrics, and information sharing.  He previously served in other roles at the NSC including as the Director for Law Enforcement Policy in the Bush administration in 2008 and the Director for Identity Management and Biometrics Policy in the Obama administration from 2009-2011.  Monte has also served in various positions at the National Counterterrorism Center, CIA’s Counterterrorism Mission Center, FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and the U.S. Secret Service.  Monte is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.  He received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Tulsa and his M.A. in Criminology/Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland-College Park. 


John Jacocks, MD (Col. retired)

Dr. John Jacocks, MD, specialized in family practice/aviation/occupational medicine in some of the most demanding units in the Department of Defense. He served as a corporate level medical executive for Defense Threat Reduction Agency and is experienced with national-level special mission units and the intelligence community.  John taught, wrote, treated, and consulted on medical aspects regarding weapons of mass destruction, including the national response.  Dr. Jacocks served as assistant head of the emergency department of 1000 bed general hospital in Desert Shield/Storm and deployed throughout Central/South America and Southwest Asia with the Special Forces.  John has kept his focus on taking care of people and expanded skills by becoming involved with tropical medicine /infectious diseases, research and testing/evaluation.

Joshua Kurjan

Mr. Kurjan brings to Georgetown University a unique blend of applied professional expertise preventing and mitigating intended acts of violence using biological materials or impacting the bioeconomy. This expertise is drawn from experience as a designated marksman with an Israeli Defense Forces infantry unit and on contract to the United States Government in Afghanistan, extensive corporate executive protection work, and provision of international security, nonproliferation, and biological security subject matter expertise and analysis for U.S. government clients. Mr. Kurjan strives to impart upon his students a threat-centric approach to securing biological materials, information, infrastructure, and industry from bad actors with intent and ability to cause harm, with a focus on identifying, assessing, and managing behavioral threats. Mr. Kurjan is an active member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International, and the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) where he served as a member of Biosecurity Credential Task Force 2.0 efforts. Mr. Kurjan received his B.A. in Sociology from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel) in 2001.


Henry S. Parker, PhD

Dr. Henry S. (“Hank”) Parker, PhD, is an adjunct associate professor who, since 2009, has taught a course on agroterrorism and food defense in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He is also a writer and lecturer on a variety of scientific and natural history topics, with a goal of encouraging non-scientists to better appreciate and understand science. His debut novel, CONTAINMENT (a bioterror thriller), was published by Simon & Schuster (Touchstone imprint) in January 2017.

Hank holds a Ph.D. in biological oceanography and was formerly a research manager and Acting Director of Homeland Security for the Agricultural Research Service of USDA; a university professor of marine sciences; a U.S. Naval officer and deep-sea salvage diver; a seaweed farmer in the southern Philippines; and co-leader of an expedition that discovered and recovered remains of a 17th century Spanish Manila galleon. He lives in Vermont with his wife, Sue.


Neal A. Pollard, JD

Neal A. Pollard, JD, is Chief Information Security Officer for UBS AG, where he serves as the global head of cyber and information security for the world’s largest private bank.  He is also Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Columbia University, and Fordham Law School.  Prior to his current position, he was a partner at Ernst & Young in New York City, leading their cyber threat management services primarily for financial institutions in New York City.  He also served as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Prior to his consulting career, he was a senior intelligence officer in the U.S. counterterrorism community, serving operational and managerial assignments focused on the nuclear and biological terrorist target for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  He is a board director of the Cyber Conflict Studies Association, non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was an International Affairs Fellow.  He was also Vice President of Hicks & Associates, and Board Director and General Counsel of the Terrorism Research Center, a corporation he founded in 1996.  He holds a B.Sc. in mathematics from Oklahoma University, an M.Litt. from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a J.D. from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

Leonard J. Rosenthal, PhD

Dr. Leonard Rosenthal is an AIDS/cancer researcher who has focused on the association of herpesviruses with human cancer and AIDS. In September, 2002, Dr. Rosenthal, along with Dr. Lucey, co-organized the first GU/MedStar Workshop on Bioterrorism attended by over 500 students. Drs. Rosenthal and Lucey have previously co-organized a biodefense program as part of the Mini Medical School series for faculty, staff, and students and the community at large. Dr. Rosenthal is Director of the MS program in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases as well as Director of the Online Certificate program in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of the resident certificate program in Biodefense & Public Policy.


Paula Scalingi, PhD

Dr. Paula Scalingi, PhD, has extensive experience in government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academe as an expert, manager, and educator. For the past 20 years she has worked with thousands of private and public sector stakeholders across the U.S. and internationally to improve infrastructure security and community resilience. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Innovating Security and Resilience (12SR). The Institute advances actions to address challenges posed by technological, climate, and societal change that can adversely impact interdependent critical infrastructures and the health and economic viability of the communities they serve. Along with her responsibilities at I2SR, Dr. Scalingi is President of The Scalingi Group, LLC, which since 2001 has provided infrastructure security and disaster resilience expertise to federal, state, and local governments; utilities, and other organizations. A pioneer in the study of infrastructure interdependencies, Dr. Scalingi’s focus areas include critical lifelines, healthcare systems, and dam/levee resilience; disaster recovery, information-sharing and situational awareness, extreme weather event resilience, community health resilience, cyber resilience, and regional risk assessment and mitigation. Previously, Dr. Scalingi was Executive Director of the Bay Area Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (BACRDR), a non-profit enabling cross-sector and discipline actions to improve all-hazards disaster resilience. From 2006 to 2011 she was Director of the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, a consortium of 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. Dr. Scalingi’s earlier positons include serving as Director of U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Director of the Decision and Information Sciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and as Director of ANL’s Infrastructure Assurance Center. For ANL she was technical liaison to the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, overseeing vulnerability studies on water systems, emergency services, electric power, oil and gas; and legal/regulatory issues, and producing an initial national critical infrastructure security R&D strategy. Prior to this she served in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on the Strategic Arms Control Treaty Delegation and as the agency’s Director of Public Information, on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Erin M. Sorrell, MSc, PhD

Dr. Erin M. Sorrell is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as well as a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security and the co-director of the M.S. Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases program. She is currently a five-year term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.