Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment

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The Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA), based at Michigan State University and jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has been established to fill critical gaps in microbial risk assessment needed to support homeland security objectives. CAMRA will provide policy-makers and first responders with the information they need to protect human life from biological threats and to set decontamination goals by focusing on two primary objectives.

The first objective is a technical mission to develop models, tools, and information that can be used to reduce or eliminate health impacts from the deliberate indoor or outdoor use of biological agents. The second objective is a knowledge management mission to build a national network for information transfer about microbial risk assessment among universities, professionals, and communities.

The scientists comprising the Center's team have extensive expertise in microbial risk assessment methods, biosecurity, and infectious disease transmission through environmental exposure. The CAMRA consortium of schools that will address critical data gaps necessary to complete credible microbial risk assessments for decontamination includes Michigan State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan.

CAMRA will undertake five major research efforts with the commitment to:

  • Improve our ability to measure exposure to biological agents of concern in drinking water and indoor air;
  • Develop a methodology to link models of environmental exposure and models of the disease process to help with early detection outbreaks and control efforts;
  • Produce a reference set of information on the doses and subsequent responses for specific bioterrorist agents;
  • Identify research strategies and risk communication priorities that can improve how society manages bioterrorism risk; and
  • Develop educational programs, online learning tools, and workshops to increase knowledge about microbial risk assessment.
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