The colloquium reviewed the nature of the pathogens that the U.S. Government perceives as terrorist threats, including their biology, epidemiology, and host immunology. Among the topics discussed were the technologies and policies the U.S. has implemented to prevent and prepare for the release of such agents. Students had the opportunity to learn about how their biology degree can lead them toward careers paths in this field.
The potential threat of bioterrorism became real in October 2001, when the United States discovered the nation was already weeks into an anthrax attack that ultimately claimed five lives. In the succeeding decade, more than $60 billion dollars were spent to harden the nation’s posture to prevent, detect, and respond to deliberate acts of biological terror. The complicated biology of the agents of concern – Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, smallpox, and others – means that collecting intelligence, detecting attacks, and developing pharmaceutical countermeasures is difficult at best.
Dr. Carlin’s professional expertise features diverse but related interests in the life sciences, medicine, homeland security, and the communication of scientific principles and challenges to technical and lay audiences. She is well versed in science and technology policy as it relates to homeland security and public health with a focus on zoonotic disease.
Currently Principal of Carlin Communications, a science policy consulting and writing firm in Washington, D.C., Dr. Carlin previously served as Senior Professional Staff with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security from 2007-2013, where she handled medical preparedness, biodefense, and science and technology policy. She also worked or volunteered as a small animal clinical veterinarian for the Washington Animal Rescue League and other animal welfare organizations.
Dr. Carlin received her Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 1999 and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.
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