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PODCAST | Rethinking Our Defense Against Unknown Biothreats

Dr. Harshini Mukundan, Program Manager and Scientist for Chemical and Biological Technologies at the Office of National and Homeland Security, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and visiting Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory sat down with host and AAAS STPF fellow Adejare (Jay) Atanda to discuss her research on pathogen agnostic disease detection and diagnostics, why this is important for biodefense against unknown biothreats, the role of technological innovations in pathogen agnostic detection and diagnostics, limitations of existing technological tools, and the vital importance of public-private partnerships in transforming this field. This conversation also covered the challenges women, people of color and immigrants face as scientists, the importance of mentorship in mitigating these challenges and her own mentorship and advocacy work to educate young girls about STEM careers as a AAAS IF/THEN STEM Ambassador and guest on CBS’s “Mission Unstoppable” among other efforts.



Harshini Mukundan, Ph.D., Microbiologist and Scientist, AAAS Fellow
Program Manager and Scientist, Chemical and Biological Technologies
Office of National and Homeland Security
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Host & Producer

Adejare (Jay) Atanda, DMD, DrPH, MPH, Clinician-Scientist & Epidemiologist
2022-24 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Homeland Security
Twitter: @jr_tnd;

Executive Producer

Reshmina William, Ph.D., Civil Engineer
2021-22 Judicial Branch Fellow
2022-23 Executive Branch Fellow at the Department of Energy
Twitter: @ReshminaWilliam

Meryleen Mena, Ph.D., Social Anthropology
2022-23 Executive Branch Fellow at USAID
2023-24 Executive Branch Fellow at NSF

Jose Hurtado, Ph.D., Computer Science
2022-24 Executive Branch Fellow at NSF

Image: Monstera Production

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