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Meet the Class of 2016 Fellows

Genya Dana

Genya  Dana

Genya V. Dana is a Senior Science Policy Officer in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, at the U.S. Department of State. She advises on emerging biotechnologies and international policy issues, is a negotiator on science, technology and innovation in multi-lateral organizations like the United Nations, and works to advance science, technology and innovation for sustainable development with a focus on Africa.  She also manages four science policy fellowship programs aimed at bringing more technical expertise into the Department. She was a AAAS Fellow in the Department’s Office of Conservation and Water from 2011-2013 covering food security, wetlands, biodiversity, drylands management, and biotechnology in international negotiations. Her scientific training is in ecological risk assessment of emerging technologies and stakeholder engagement in risk governance, and she conducted her doctoral research in South Africa.

Prior to her AAAS fellowship, she split her time between an Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she assisted with stakeholder engagement in nanotechnology research strategy development, and an appointment as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she tested methodologies for evaluating the environmental risks of synthetic biology applications. She was also a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Science in 2011. She completed a Ph.D. in ecological risk assessment and M.Sc. in science, technology and environmental policy at the University of Minnesota’s Conservation Biology Program and Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, respectively.

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Krista Versteeg

Krista  Versteeg

Krista Versteeg is a 2016 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with the Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC). As a Fellow she is embracing her opportunities to learn more about science policy while aiding CISAC as they promote global security. Krista is also currently completing a PhD in microbiology and immunology under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Geisbert in the Galveston National Lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She holds a BS in biochemistry and conducted her honors thesis on the synthesis of chemotherapeutic drugs. During her undergraduate years, she was motivated to pursue a PhD project in infectious diseases after an internship with the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. After graduating from college, Krista moved to Texas to begin work on her PhD; her dissertation is focused on identifying the immune response to various Ebolaviruses. Her work in the high containment laboratory at the Galveston National Lab will aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics against highly pathogenic infectious diseases.   Krista’s interests include biodefense policy specifically adherence to the Biological Weapons Convention; monitoring and control of natural biological threats; and advancing worldwide biological research while maintaining a biosecurity culture.  She would ultimately like to use her knowledge and passion regarding infectious diseases to help government and industry prepare for future threats or outbreaks and assist with the eradication of disease worldwide.

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Behind the Scenes in Biosecurity

Phyllis Arthur Interview

Phyllis Arthur, Senior Director, Vaccines, Immunotherapeutics and Diagnostics Policy, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), discusses the role of public-private partnerships in drug and vaccine development and production and broadly outlines the roles that Congress, the Administration, and the private sector play regarding US biodefense policy.