The Science and Technology Directorate's Chemical and Biological Defense Division focuses on saving lives and protecting the nation's infrastructure from chemical, biological, and agricultural threats and disasters.
Alan Rudolph is the Director for the Chemical and Biological Defense Division within the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.
The Chemical and Biological Defense Division provides a comprehensive understanding and analyses of chemical and biological threats, develops pre-event assessment, discovery, and interdiction capabilities as well as capabilities for warning, notification, and analysis of incidents. The division optimizes recovery technology and processes, enhances the capability to inform attribution of attacks, and develops medical countermeasures against foreign animal diseases.
Organization and Project Highlights
The Chemical and Biological Defense Division (CBD) actively coordinates with interagency partners to maximize resources and minimize duplication. CBD carries out its activities through three technical branches:
- Agricultural Defense
- Chemical and Biological Research and Development
- Threat Characterization and Attribution
In spite of the numerous demands, CBD has applied its resources to deliver great value to the Homeland Security Enterprise, including programs such as Detect-to-Protect, Foreign Animal Disease Vaccines and Diagnostics, Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor, Wide Area Recovery and Resiliency Program, and its Forensics Program.
Detect to Protect
The objective of the Detect to Protect (D2P) program is to develop and integrate biological threat sensors that can be placed in large critical infrastructure locations through the nation, such as airports, buildings, and subways, to identify and confirm biological agents within minutes. During the summer of 2012, the D2P system will be demonstrated in a real-world scenario in the Boston subway system.
Foreign Animal Disease Vaccines and Diagnostics
CBD is working with DHS and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists at Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) , DHS Centers of Excellence, and other Federal and animal health industry partners to enhance current capabilities and develop state-of-the-art countermeasures for the highest priority foreign animal diseases, including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). In July 2011, USDA granted a permit for the importation of a quadravalent FMD vaccine to a DHS non-profit organization. In June 2012, the USDA granted a conditional license for use in cattle to an FMD vaccine developed at PIADC. This is the world's first licensed molecular FMD vaccine and the first to be approved for manufacture on the U.S. mainland.
Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor
The Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor (ARFCAM) "detect to warn" chemical vapor detectors provide increased protection for critical infrastructure and their occupants against a chemical attack. Detectors include continuous monitoring of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals at concentration levels low enough to provide sufficient time to implement evacuation and response procedures.
Wide Area Recovery and Resilience Program
The Wide Area Recovery and Resilience Program (WARRP) is working with interagency partners to develop plans to reduce the time and resources needed for wide urban areas, military installations, and other critical infrastructure to recover following a chemical, biological, or radiological incident. In coordination with the Denver Urban Area Security Initiative, S&T and other members of the Federal Interagency are executing WARRP, which concludes in September 2012.
CBD conducts bioforensics research in support of criminal investigative cases and operation of the National BioForensics and Analysis Center (NBFAC™) and with the ultimate goal of attribution, apprehension, and prosecution of the perpetrator to fulfill Biodefense for the 21st Century (HSPD-10). These activities provide facilities, analytical methods, and rigorous chain-of-custody controls needed to support the FBI and others in their investigation of potential biocrimes or acts of bioterrorism. Additional research and development projects in this program area work to develop improved methods for extracting genetic materials and proteins from samples for biological, chemical, and physical characterization.