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CLTR appoints Dr Cassidy Nelson as Head of Biosecurity Policy

The Centre for Long-Term Resilience (CLTR) has appointed Dr Cassidy Nelson to head its biosecurity policy programme. Cassidy will lead CLTR’s key biosecurity policy recommendations and work to ensure the biological threats facing the UK are brought to the forefront of UK policy. Cassidy previously worked as a doctor in human biosecurity and communicable disease public health in Australia, consulted for the World Health Organization’s Health Security Interface in Geneva and the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense in Washington DC, and co-led the Biosecurity Team at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Development Biology and a graduate degree in Medicine from the University of Queensland, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne. She is currently a DPhil candidate in Biology at the University of Oxford, with her thesis entitled "Detection for Novel Pathogen Pandemics". In 2021, Cassidy was named a fellow on the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. CLTR, which is based in London, works to transform the UK and the world’s resilience to extreme risks – high-impact threats with global reach. We want to ensure that the next time the world faces a threat like Covid-19, we are better prepared.


CLTR’s work focuses on three key pillars:


  1. Biosecurity, including naturally-occurring pandemics, laboratory leaks and bioweapons;

  2. Artificial intelligence, where responsible technology development will be essential to enabling benefits and mitigating risk; and

  3. Risk management systems, to transform our approach to governance and to the identification, assessment and mitigation of extreme risks.

Angus Mercer, founder and Chief Executive of CLTR, says: 'I am delighted that Cassidy has joined CLTR as our Head of Biosecurity Policy. Her exceptional talent, drive and motivation will be invaluable to our mission of transforming global resilience to extreme risks. I can't think of a better duo than Cassidy and our Senior Biosecurity Policy Analyst, Sophie Rose, to spearhead our biosecurity policy work at such a crucial time. Welcome, Cassidy!'

Cassidy Nelson says:

'I am thrilled to be joining the outstanding team at CLTR, an organisation I have long respected for its dedicated mission and exceptional work. While we are still in the wake of Covid-19, the risk landscape continues to change and it has never been more urgent to make progress on pandemic preparedness across the full range of biological threats. As a part of my new role, I look forward to fortifying our policy proposals and deepening our engagement with the aim of addressing some of today's most formidable biosecurity challenges. I am confident that by working together, we can navigate these complexities and forge a path towards a more resilient future.'



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