Biological Agents Defence and Surveillance systems for early detection and emergency response protocols

Biological agents such as toxins, viruses and bacteria can be used to develop biological weapons (BWs) which can cause death and disease in humans and animals as well as the destruction of crops. BWs are asymmetric threats which can be used against nations when they are least prepared. Once used, BWs have a diverse outcome that makes it almost impossible to contain them before they spread. A perfect example to the serious threats of BWs is the letters containing anthrax spores which were sent in the USA in 2001. These letters killed five people and infected 17 others in a case considered an act of bioterrorism that presents a significant threat to the military and civilians likewise.

In this workshop, we will explain the impact of BWs on both national and international security and the design of response protocols. At the end of the sessions, the participants will understand how these weapons work and the effect on health and the economy. They will also be able to construct both a general surveillance system and tailored emergency response protocols. The workshop will combine science, international relations and security as well as national and international policies and the implementation of BWs convention.

The first sessions will be an introduction to biological warfare and weapons and relevant international and security concepts which will lead to discussions on the significant threats of BWs and in cases of epidemics and pandemics such as the current COVID-19. These sessions will be followed by an explanation of the scientific and technical methods and the recent involvement of genetic engineering in developing BWs and what this means for preventing the proliferation of biological weapons. The workshop will also address the effects on national and international economic and the impact on individuals lives.

  • This three-day workshop has been designed to provide participants with extensive knowledge of BWs and the threats of bioterrorism.
  • Equip policy and decisions makers with extensive knowledge of emergency and crisis responses.
  • Help policy and decisions makers with designing surveillance systems.
  • Critically assess the relationship between BWs and societal issues, with a specific focus on security-related issues, and be able to explain key aspects of the role of scientists.
  • Evaluate and analyse the socio-economic effects of the recent outbreak of coronavirus around the world.
  • Acquire good understanding of key concepts, theories and methodologies in different case studies of BWs-related security issues.

What will you learn?

At the end of the workshop the participants will be able to:

  • Describe the biological warfare, weapons and bioterrorism fundamentals.
  • Explain the basic science underlying biological weapons.
  • Understand the biological weapons threats and impact on human and economics.
  • Setting emergency responses protocols.
  • Setting biological protection protocols including Individual, professional staffs and security forces.
  • Setting protocols for detection and decontamination.
  • Identify the spread of disease in the population and the threat in working forces and civil context.
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to work productively and in a collaborative manner within teams and multi-tier government agencies to combat the threat of BWs.

Benefits for employers

  • Understand what is biological warfare?; history of biological weapons; biological warfare and bioterrorism; and Facts about bioterrorism and Biological warfare.
  • Learn about various examples of biological agents such as Anthrax Exposure Symptoms, Signs, and Diagnosis; Anthrax Exposure Treatment, Prevention, and Postexposure Prophylaxis; Plague; Cholera; Tularemia; Brucellosis; Q Fever; Smallpox; Monkeypox; Arboviral Encephalitides; Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers; Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B; Ricin; Botulinum Toxin; Mycotoxins; Glanders; Typhus; and Anti-Crop Biological Agents. You will also learn how are biological agents delivered and detected?
  • Be aware of the next generation Bioweapons such as genetics engineering in bioweapons and bioterrorism; future threat of bioweapons as well as the science and biodefense.
  • Learn how implement legislations for the biological weapons convection: definitions; prohibitions and penalties; jurisdiction; biosafety and biosecurity; transfer control regime and enforcement.
  • After completion of the workshop, participants (supported by their tutor) will be required to write a report describing what they have learnt and what is particularly relevant to their employers. They will be given the choice to focus on one single perspective or to build a hybrid model that will help their employers to achieve their strategic and tactical goals. This will help reassure the employers of the benefits of the programme and help consolidate participants’ understanding.

Programme structure

  • The programme will be facilitated by the best experts from all over the world in BWs; Security and Biosafety; Public Health;  Medical Virology and Microbiology; Public Policy; Management; Leadership and Economic Analysis; it will provide participants within the public and private sectors worldwide with the best scientific and management solutions to early detect BWs.
  • There will be an activity or set of activities for each session. These will be designed to help you engage with the introduction to the theories explored within the programme.
  • Your tutor will be on hand to guide you through the programme and will expect you to bring personal experience and reflection on the topics covered.
  • Group work will be required for participants to engage in the programme. Such activity allows participants to embed the new knowledge within their experience through active discussion and challenge.

Target participants

  • The workshop covers materials for all levels from supervisory through to senior level.
  • Higher education and research officials: minsters, undersecretaries, vice chancellors, deans, head of department, etc.
  • Academics and researchers.
  • Policy and decision makers.
  • Foreign Affairs department.
  • Military and police officers.
  • Civilians assigned to Defence-related functions.
  • Medical directors and staff.
  • Students, youth, NGOs (voluntary) and civil society groups (public).

Course material

Included in the workshop fee, the following learning materials will be provided: admission to all sessions; all overhead slides; case studies (print and video); and certificate of attendance from the University of East London and WASD


To register for the workshop please contact Janet and/or Reem at: