Home / Focus Area / Scientific Research

Science Supporting Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness

Pandemics, natural or person-made, have the potential to cause significant, and perhaps unprecedented, harm. We support breakthrough research in the basic science of infectious disease, pathogen detection and identification, and countermeasures. We are especially interested in research that applies to a wide swath of pathogen types. Others at Open Philanthropy support policy and governance efforts to reduce these risks.

Our Work

Grant 6/2017

Determining the molecular structure of Hsp70i may help optimize a class of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that are active against diseases such as dengue. The work will be led by Dr. Timothy Haystead, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.

Grant 4/2017

A protein in influenza H3N2 weakens host defense systems by mimicking a protein normally present in host cells. Understanding the structure and function of the mimics may present a new target for development of antiviral compounds.

Press 3/2017
from The Scientist

Using epidemiological and laboratory data, scientists have mapped out a sequence of mutations through which the attenuated oral polio vaccine reverts to a virulent virus.

We have supported research in this area.

Blog Post 8/2015

Our work on global catastrophic risks focuses on both potential extinction events and catastrophes that, while not threatening direct extinction, could cause global disruptions far outside the range of historical experience.

Cause Report 1/2014

Natural pandemics, bioterrorism, biological weapons, and dual use scientific research have the potential to cause significant, and perhaps unprecedented, harm. The risks from engineered threats are likely to grow in the future.