New partnerships that cut across countries , are being forged in a bid to to expand research and training opportunities in the areas of biopreparedness and counter-terrorism.
The group, comprised of Kent State faculty from disciplines including biological sciences, justice studies, psychology and exercise physiology, in conjunction with ITRR counter-terrorism experts, hope to develop new, synergistic, emergency and bio-preparedness programs using the significant strengths and resources of both entities.
Dr. Christopher J. Woolverton, Kent State professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness, will serve as a co-director of the collaboration for Kent State.
"The Kent State University-ITRR collaboration provides unique opportunities in the ongoing fight against terrorism. The combined expertise of Kent State's Center for Public Health Preparedness, Kent State's MTC Police Academy, and the ITRR will provide substantial resources for terrorism preparedness, as well as natural biological disasters like pandemic influenza," Woolverton says.
Outcomes anticipated from the collaboration include the development of bio-preparedness and counter-terrorism programs and materials (training protocol, curricular materials, research results and practical implementation practices for the prevention and control of bioterrorism), and professional development and cross-training of first responders and emergency managers.
Modeled after the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers, the Kent State Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP) unites academic, public health, business and community groups to address health and safety issues through education, research and workforce development.
The Kent State-ITRR partnership will utilize the Biosafety Training Lab, a unique Kent State facility dedicated to teaching procedures and protocols to those working with, and responding to, attacks involving harmful biological agents.
"We have facilities where we can offer wide-ranging bio-preparedness training programs," says Gregory Wilson, associate vice president for economic development and strategic partnerships. "The Biosafety Training Lab is one of only two places in the country where you can get this kind of lab training."
ITRR utilizes Israeli and American experts to provide specialized training in travel and corporate security, as well as in prevention of and response to international terrorism, eco-terrorism, and domestic terrorism for public and private sector entities in the United States.