Academic Seminar

Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic—Challenges and Opportunities of Biosecurity and Pathogen Surveillance



🦠BTBA很榮幸可以邀請到Ginkgo Bioworks的Senior Director Robert Morfino及許書瑀博士來揭開Biosecurity‒疫情當前情報網的神秘面紗。過去幾年,他們藉由偵測和追蹤機場或社區廢水中的病原來判斷疫情蔓延的程度和區域,並與政府單位合作推動進一步的防疫規劃。這次的講座兩位專家將從技術、經濟、法規和公衛等各面向切入來探討生物安全對我們生活的影響以及其他將病原偵測引入現實生活的案例。這將會是一場跨足學術、業界與政府單位合作的知識饗宴,不可錯過的難得機會,趕快報名!

Did you know that the initial awareness of COVID-19 and immediate action for prevention in Taiwan is in part attributed to a post on an online forum?

🏥Back in 2019, a physician in Taiwan noticed a trending post on an internet forum discussing an outbreak of unknown pneumonia in Wuhan. The physician informed the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Taiwan CDC swiftly implemented the prevention strategies from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following rapid technological advancements such as antigen testing, vaccines, and medications, the focus of SARS-CoV-2 research around the globe has shifted to pathogen surveillance over the past four years. As we enter the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, countries around the world are actively developing pathogen surveillance programs to ensure early control and prevention of disease transmission through systematic monitoring and screening of pathogens.

🫁Join us as we delve into this transformative journey with Robert Morfino, Senior Director at Ginkgo Bioworks, and Dr. Shu-Yu Hsu. Discover how Morfino and Dr. Hsu monitored pathogens like COVID-19 in major US airports and community wastewater. The insights from their programs have enabled government agencies to take immediate action. In this seminar, they will unravel the mysteries of biosecurity and pathogen surveillance, exploring the intersection of technology, economy, policy, and public health. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain invaluable academic insights and industrial perspectives. Secure your spot today and be part of shaping the future of global biosecurity!

本活動全程以英文進行. This event will be conducted in English.

▶️主題|Topic: Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities of Biosecurity and Pathogen Surveillance

▶️日期|Date: 2024-05-03 (Fri) 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm (ET)

▶️場地|Venue: Online event. The meeting link will be provided after registration in an email before the event.

▶️報名連結|Registration Link:


Robert Morfino, MS, MBA

Senior Director Business Development, Ginkgo Bioworks

Robert holds an MS in Nanotechnology and Electronics from Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and Polytechnic School of Turin, Italy, as well as a MBA from Harvard Business School. He also has over 10 years of experience in program management and business development in both pharmaceutical and technological sectors.

Currently, Robert leads the Biosecurity Solution team of Concentric, the biosecurity division of Ginkgo Bioworks, where he is in charge of developing new business models for biosecurity. He has co-designed and managed a number of high-profile flagship biosecurity program in collaboration with national governments, such as the US CDC Traveller Genomic Surveillance program, the National Biosurveillance Network for the UK Health Security Agency, along with other major international expansions.


Featured publication:

Shu-Yu Hsu, PhD

Scientist, Verve Therapeutics

ShuYu has completed her PhD at University of Missouri under the supervision of Prof. Chung-Ho Lin. Her research focused on bacterial bioremediation of atrazine.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hsu has leveraged her expertise in environmental science and volunteered in the wastewater surveillance program, a collaborative project by the Missouri State Government, School of Natural Resources, and School of Medicine, University of Missouri, to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 virus. She has pioneered the use of caffeine as a marker to estimate COVID-19 infection rate. The program has been expanded to detect a wide portfolio of pathogens and chemical markers.


Featured publication and news segment:


Alex Tsai, PhD

Senior Organism Engineer, Ginkgo Bioworks

Alex is a senior organism engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks specializing in engineering microbes for industrial applications such as production of biopharmaceuticals.

Alex has completed his PhD in University of Toronto with research focused on engineering of plant cell wall for biofuel application. Subsequently, Alex has worked in Joint BioEnergy Institute (Emeryville, CA), Intrexon (San Francisco, CA), and Industrial Technology Research Institute (Hsinchu) applying synthetic biology techniques in various organisms for diverse applications such as productions of fuels, industrial chemicals, and textile dyes.


2024-05-03, 8–9:30 PM ET

Register here