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

Program Leadership & Administration

Erin Sorrell, PhD

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

Faculty Profile

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.

W. Seth Carus, PhD

Dr. Carus is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of National Security Policy at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University. He was on NDU’s faculty from 1997 through 2017, serving from 2003 to 2013 as the Center’s Deputy Director. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Carus was detailed to the Office of the Vice President at the White House, where he was the Senior Advisor to the Vice President for Biodefense. Before joining NDU, Dr. Carus worked at the Center for Naval Analyses (1994 to 1997), the Policy Planning staff in the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense (1991 to 1994), and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Dr. Carus’ work has focused primarily on issues related to biological and chemical warfare. His current research focuses on the history of chemical and biological warfare. He is author of A Short History of Biological Warfare: From Pre-History to the 21st Century (2017), “The History of Biological Warfare: What We Know and What We Don’t” in Health Security (2015), and Defining “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, Revised and Updated (2012), as well as the working paper Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900 (2001). He is the co-author of The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030 (2014).

Dr. Carus has a Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.

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.

Colin Eckman

Colin Eckman is a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Government’s counterproliferation community working chemical warfare issues. Over the course of his career, he provided advice and support to a wide range of U.S. policy and military counterproliferation activities involving chemical warfare, including events surrounding use of chemical agents in assassination attempts in the UK and Malaysia; terrorist use of chemical weapons in Iraq; and the Syrian regime’s series of attacks using chemical agents and toxic chemicals. He currently serves in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as the Chemical Warfare Issue Manager, developing strategies to improve intelligence capabilities aimed at reducing the threat from chemical weapons.

Mr. Eckman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University, and lives with his wife and four children in Woodbridge, Virginia.

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. Dr. Fischer directs the Elizabeth R. Griffin Program at Georgetown University.

Prior to joining Georgetown’s faculty in 2016, Dr. Fischer co-directed a multi-disciplinary team in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, leading projects designed to help governments and international agencies understand the resources needed to detect, assess, report, and respond to emerging public health events effectively. From 2007-2012, Dr. Fischer directed Stimson’s Global Health Security Program, exploring the tools, policies, and partnerships that strengthen global capacities for disease detection and response.

Dr. Fischer is a former Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science & Technology Fellow. She served as a microbiologist with a Thai-U.S. collaboration aimed at strengthening Thailand’s capacities to identify and control emerging infections of regional and global significance.  As professional staff with the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Dr. Fischer worked on issues related to emergency medical preparedness and the consequences of biological, chemical, and radiological exposures during military service. Dr. Fischer received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University and completed post-doctoral training in viral pathogenesis at the University of Washington and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, reports, manuals, and training tools. 

Maari Hanson

Since 2012, Ms. Maari Hanson has worked for the CIA providing all-source analysis in the fields of chemical and biological warfare. She previously worked as a contractor conducting public health exercises with local governments and training DoD facilities to prepare for and respond to CBRN attacks. Ms. Hanson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College and is a graduate of the M.S. Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases program. Ms. Hanson lives in Springfield, VA with her husband (Jason), two children (Everett and Penelope), and dog (Cerberus).


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.

Shane B. Kappler, MD, MS, FACEP

Dr. Shane Kappler is an Emergency Medicine Physician and Critical Care Physician. He completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at the Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center Emergency Medicine Residency program and completed his subspecialty fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Maryland Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. He works clinically within the Medstar Health system. 

Dr. Kappler has lectured nationally and internationally on topics of bioterrorism, preparedness and disaster medicine. He has served as a Department of Homeland Security Scholar. He has consulted for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center and lectured to FEMA on topics related to biological Pandemics. He previously served as the Director of Disaster Preparedness for the Department of Emergency Medicine at CHA, a Harvard affiliated Hospital System in Boston, MA. He continues to serve as core Faculty for the BIDMC Harvard Disaster Medicine Fellowship Program, directing the fellowship concentration in bioterrorism and CBRNE. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame, his Medical Doctorate from Georgetown University School of Medicine and his Master of Science degree in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases from Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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 positions 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 Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Director of the M.S. Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases program and member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security. Dr. Sorrell works with partners across the U.S. government, international organizations, and ministries around the world to identify elements required to support health systems strengthening and laboratory capacity building for disease detection, reporting, risk assessment, and response. She is also interested in operational and implementation research questions related to sustainable health systems strengthening, with an emphasis on the prevention, management, and control of infectious diseases in humanitarian situations, and particularly countries and regions affected by conflict.  She is currently a five-year term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Previously Dr. Sorrell was a Senior Research Scientist at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Prior to joining the team Erin was a senior analyst in the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction’s Biosecurity Engagement Program at the Department of State where she also worked as an American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Dr. Sorrell worked on foreign assistance activities in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. Erin was a postdoctoral fellow both at Erasmus Medical Center, the Netherlands and the University of Maryland. Her research focused on the molecular mechanisms of interspecies transmission, primarily focusing on avian to human transmission of H7, H9 and H5 influenza A viruses. Dr. Sorrell received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in animal science and molecular virology from the University of Maryland.

David Stiefel

David Stiefel is concurrently a National Security Policy Analyst with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Homeland Security (OHS) and a graduate student at the University of Virginia in the doctoral program for Foreign Affairs; majoring in International Relations. David earned his BS in Geology & Environmental Sciences, Media Arts & Design, and Jazz Studies from James Madison University (’07). David then worked as an Environmental Consultant for two years in Charlottesville, VA. David left that job to own and tour full time in a band, which he did for the next five years. After charting on Billboard with his band, David pursued a MS from Georgetown University in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infections Disease (’15). Upon graduation, David began working in Lorton, VA as a Defense Contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) – focusing on Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction Systems/Technology and supporting the Autonomy Community of Interest. While at DTRA, David became a finalist for the Presidential Management Fellowship. David began working for USDA as a Presidential Management Fellow, first at the Natural Resources Conservation Service and subsequently for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Coordination. With USDA, David is currently a National Security Policy Analyst with a portfolio including Agroterrorism, Bio-defense/security, Critical Infrastructure, Global Health, BWC, etc. For his PhD, David is interested in the intersection of food and security; specifically, how food can be used (including during peace time) as coercive power.

Taylor Winkleman, DVM

Dr. Winkleman is an adjunct in the Department of Microbiology. She is a clinically-trained veterinarian and policy analyst with five years of experience with the Global Health Security Agenda. She completed a AAAS congressional fellowship in the office of Senator Edward J. Markey in 2016-2017, focusing on global health, foreign relations, military and veterans affairs, human rights, wildlife trafficking, and space policy. Prior to her fellowship year, she completed research with Gryphon Scientific, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the mEpiLab at Massey University in New Zealand. She is a founding member and the current Coordinator of the Next Generation Global Health Security Network, and the producer of the PDR Podcast. She currently works as a senior consultant for local non-profit consulting firm LMI. Dr. Winkleman teaches Survey of International Policy and co-teaches Science & Technology in Global Health.