Center for Health Security Senior Scholar Dr. Gigi Gronvall Testifies at California State Assembly
April 6, 2021 – Dr. Gigi Gronvall, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provided expert testimony at a hearing at the California State Assembly on gene synthesis security today.
The hearing was convened by the California State Assembly Committee on Health. Dr. Gronvall’s testimony provided an expert voice in support of legislation introduced, Assembly Bill (AB) 1966: Gene synthesis providers (2019-2020).
“While gene synthesis is vital for biomedical research in the California, there are biosecurity concerns associated with the industry,” said Dr. Gronvall and Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a written statement. “We strongly support AB 1966 because it would strengthen California’s biosecurity by requiring that gene synthesis companies screen their customers and their orders to prevent against potential misuse from nefarious actors who would seek to harm the state.”
The bill was passed out of committee and will be considered by the full California State Assembly.