Yale partnership with University of Rome Tor Vergata aims to strengthen protection against global safety threats

Two Yale University schools have partnered with the University of Rome Tor Vergata (URTV) to advance research and training intended to improve global protection against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNe) events.

The collaboration involves researchers at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and Yale School of Medicine (YSM) along with faculty in URTV’s Department of Biomedicine and Prevention and the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Principal collaborators on the project are Vasilis Vasiliou, the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Science at YSPH, and professor Francesco d’Errico from the University of Pisa and collaborating scientist at Yale University, as well as professors Leonardo Palombi, Andrea Malizia, Pasquale Gaudio and Colomba Russo from URTV. 

According to Vasiliou, the partnership will enhance research and training efforts for counteracting global CBRNe safety and security threats. “As threats of this nature continue,” he said, “it is important that we develop global approaches to maintain and improve protections for everyone.”

Malizia also commented on the partnership, saying “In recent years as the underpinning scientific knowledge and CBRNe technologies have become more easily available for use in crude weapons and to create dirty bombs, multidisciplinary research will play an important role in understanding the implications of constant rapid technological development and the loss of national control of this knowledge.”

The partnership aims to establish a broader international collaboration in the field of CBRNe safety and security. The research activities will focus on three main pillars: the development of new methods and instruments for the detection and identification of chemical and biological substances and ionizing radiation; the development of new approaches to manage emergencies that can involve critical infrastructures jeopardizing entire areas or nations, and; the development of education program as well as training programs based on the design and realization of table-top exercises (TTXs) to test and improve the preparations of the experts involved in the emergencies.

The partnership will also pursue the creation of faculty development programs — including junior faculty training and mentoring activities — focused on topics such as: developing research agendas, conceptual models, and hypotheses; developing research proposals and managing research projects; leading research teams; and publishing for international audiences.

This new partnership is an example of research collaboration that benefits communities around the world, contributing global solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges.