Congratulations to our faculty who was awarded a grant from the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program!

Recently, Dr. Vangelista was awarded a prestigious multiyear grant from the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The project funded by the SPS grant will be developed in a network of three countries: Italy (NATO Country), Albania (NATO Country) and Kazakhstan (NATO Partner Country), and Dr. Vangelista is the Director for Kazakhstan. The project deals with the development of a fiber-optic-based portable device for the “Early detection and diagnosis of emerging biological threats”, and it will be conducted at NUSOM and, in tight conjunction with Dr. Daniele Tosi and his group, at NUSEng and NLA.

The SPS Programme promotes dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO member states and partner nations based on scientific research, technological innovation and knowledge exchange. The SPS Programme offers funding, expert advice and support to tailor-made, security-relevant activities that respond to NATO’s strategic objectives.
Among the SPS key priorities, one is directed to “Facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation on issues of common interest, including international efforts to meet emerging security challenges”.
Within this priority, the “Defence against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Agents” is a major area.

The CNBR area may contemplate the following subareas:

1. Methods and technology regarding the protection against, diagnosing effects, detection, decontamination, destruction, disposal and containment of CBRN agents.
2. Risk management and recovery strategies and technologies.
3. Medical countermeasures against CBRN agents.

Hence, within this specific key priority area, Dr. Vangelista’s project network deals with the development of a portable device for the early detection of a biological weapon attack based on poxviruses (e.g., smallpox, a category A biological weapon agent). Once such device would be successfully developed, it should directly serve subarea 1 (detection and diagnosis), swiftly followed by the activation of subareas 2 (risk management and recovery) and 3 (medical countermeasures).