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Center for Health Security Senior Scholar Dr. Gigi Gronvall Testifies at California State Assembly

Center News


April 5, 2022 – Gigi Gronvall, PhD, 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 Senate Committee on Health.

Dr. Gronvall’s testimony provided an expert voice in support of legislation under consideration, Assembly Bill (AB) 1963: Gene synthesis providers.

“This legislation would require that gene synthesis companies screen their orders and that customers only use companies that perform biosecurity screening,” said Dr. Gronvall. “This legislation would make it harder for a nefarious actor to access genetic material needed to make viruses like smallpox, Ebola or influenza. … This bill can help to make the field of synthetic DNA safer and ensure responsible manufacturing processes, without limiting important biological research.”

Read the full testimony. (PDF)