Biosecurity and Emerging Threats Preparedness

Enable national preparedness and response by harnessing life sciences along with other innovative scientific approaches. Leverage biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) to support the nuclear stockpile and non-proliferation research.

LANL’s national security mission requires us to identify emerging threats across the globe and be prepared to respond to those threats. In addition to our work on nuclear-related threats, we also focus on infectious diseases, biological and chemical weapons, biosecurity, and bioeconomic threats. Our missions require anticipation of potential future natural and non-natural threats.

This Critical Outcome is focused on these non-nuclear threats, supporting three of the Laboratory's Strategic Objectives in accomplishing our mission: Threat Reduction, Technical Leadership, and Trustworthy Operations. This Critical Outcome also leverages the Signature Institutional Commitment in AI.

In FY23, we helped establish the NNSA Bioassurance Program and we built many new crosscutting ties within LANL, leading to the application of advanced biomanufacturing to mission-critical materials.

For FY24, we will build on these successes through six Supporting Initiatives. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to DOE’s role in biodefense, and we will ensure our alignment with other government initiatives in medical countermeasures, surveillance, AI, and biosecurity/biomanufacturing. The investments targeted by this Critical Outcome will help to ensure a foundational base of technical experts dedicated to national security concerns.

Supporting Initiatives

  1. Increase DOE/LANL leadership participation in key meetings to provide technical recommendations that drive strategic planning. Assert leadership in national security life sciences that demonstrates current national laboratory capabilities and a vision for increased impact.
  2. Expand national security R&D in areas that align and strengthen core capabilities and focus areas that have been externally peer reviewed (e.g., biomonitoring, biomanufacturing, medical countermeasures, biosurveillance, AI, modeling, genomics, testing and evaluations).
  3. Build on LANL COVID-19 R&D to better prepare for future pandemics and national emergencies with such groups as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DOE, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, Department of Homeland Security Fusion Centers, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency Reach Back.
  4. Enable improved assessments and inference across multiple scales and time to enhance decision making that demonstrates the impact of science-informed planning.
  5. Create technical options through a productive and dynamic innovation pipeline from research to adoption.
  6. Form partnerships to enable achievement.

primary Strategic Objectives

Technical Leadership - Deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to advance relevant research frontiers and anticipate emerging national security risks.

Threat Reduction - Anticipate persistent and emerging threats to global security; develop and deploy revolutionary tools to detect, deter, and respond proactively.

secondary Strategic Objective

Trustworthy Operations - Consistently demonstrate and be recognized by diverse stakeholders for trusted and trustworthy operations.