Kavita Berger | AIChE

Kavita Berger

Principal Scientist
Gryphon Scientific

Dr. Kavita Berger, Principal Scientist at Gryphon Scientific, has led several projects involving the analysis of biosecurity and biodefense policy and risk and benefits of life science research and technologies. Recently, Dr. Berger led system-based analyses of the entire U.S. biosecurity and biodefense policy landscape and of dual use capabilities of scientists. She also has led a comparative analysis of genome editing technologies, examination of biosecurity considerations associated with high-consequence pathogens and enabling biotechnologies, and development of scenario-based training exercises on laboratory biosecurity and biosafety concepts in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Berger was responsible for several biosecurity and biodefense initiatives at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). At AAAS, she developed activities that engaged Washington-DC-based science policy and security experts on topics ranging from health security to biological weapons. These efforts provided opportunities for scientists to bring their knowledge and experience to current security policy dialogues and for the security policy community to better understand the broader implications of science and technology. Dr. Berger’s interest in looking between the lines of policy and practice led her to initiate two significant activities at AAAS, both of which have influenced her work at Gryphon Scientific. One activity was to promote dialogue between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and university officials to enhance their familiarity with each other, find common ground, and promote trust-building. For the FBI, she led a project involving evaluation of national and transnational security implications of big data in the life sciences. The second activity was to engage scientists across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia to work together to prevent biosecurity threats. Dr. Berger has served on a National Research Council committee on U.S. – Russia bilateral engagement in the biological sciences and biotechnology. Dr. Berger has a Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University and conducted pre-clinical research on HIV and smallpox vaccines.