Tracking Progress in Public Health Genomics at CDC: A New CDC-Authored Genomics Publication Database

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Public Health Genomics, has launched a new CDC-Authored Genomics Publication Database. This new database is a valuable resource for CDC staff, providing its genomics community a portal to access scientific publications in genomics research and a means to track progress on this research at the CDC.

Developing Microrobotics for Disaster Recovery and High-Risk Environments

Imagine a natural disaster scenario, such as an earthquake, that inflicts widespread damage to buildings and structures, critical utilities, and infrastructure, as well as threatens human safety. Having the ability to navigate the rubble and enter highly unstable areas could prove invaluable to saving lives or detecting additional hazards among the wreckage. Partnering rescue personnel with robots to evaluate high-risk scenarios and environments can help increase the likelihood of successful search and recovery efforts, or other critical tasks while minimizing the threat to human teams.

Protecting and Promoting Public Health: Advancing the FDA’s Medical Countermeasures Mission

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s wide-ranging public health responsibilities include the vital role they play on the frontlines of national security by facilitating the development and availability of safe and effective medical countermeasures. The agency has recently taken steps to facilitate the development of medical countermeasures to protect Americans from smallpox, nerve agent, and certain insecticide poisonings, as well as the treatment of U.S. military personnel with severe or life-threatening hemorrhage.

HHS, DoD, Spero Co-Sponsor Novel Oral Antibiotic Development to Treat Deadly Infections

To combat deadly infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria or bioterrorism agents, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will partner with the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Spero Therapeutics Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop a drug that could become the first oral antibiotic in its class.

S&T Supports Radiation Preparedness

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident identified a need for a systematic platform where accurate information could be easily shared. Since 2015, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fill that need. RadResponder is identified as the national system for radiation data aggregation and the standard resource for giving emergency managers a common operating picture.

New Firefighter Cancer Registry Will Help to Monitor Cancer Incidents

On July 7, President Trump signed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018. The Act requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters. Information in the registry will be used to improve monitoring of cancer incidents among firefighters and to collect and publish information about the occurrences of cancer among this population.

Center for Health Security Designs New Health Security Track for DrPH Program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security have developed a new degree track at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for US and international students who are passionate about taking a leadership role in preventing, detecting, and responding to epidemics and other disasters.

FDA Approves the First Drug With an Indication for Treatment of Smallpox

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved TPOXX (tecovirimat), the first drug with an indication for treatment of smallpox. Though the World Health Organization declared smallpox, a contagious and sometimes fatal infectious disease, eradicated in 1980, there have been longstanding concerns that smallpox could be used as a bioweapon.

Using Trauma-Informed Care to Guide Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) collaborated with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop a trauma-informed care training for CDC. SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care developed and led a new training for OPHPR employees about the role of trauma-informed care during public health emergencies. The training aimed to increase responder awareness of the impact that trauma can have in the communities where they work.

U.S. and Canada Kick Off Joint Next Generation First Responder Initiative With Artificial Intelligence Field Experiment

A new initiative kicks off to evaluate the use of artificial intelligence and situational awareness technologies during critical incidents. The effort is a joint partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Canada’s Department of National Defence science and technology organization to ensure both American and Canadian next generation first responders are better connected, protected, and fully aware during critical incidents.