Dr. Mary Lancaster manages the Strategic Engagements and Emerging Threats portfolio for the Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Dr. Lancaster leverages strategic interagency, international, and non-governmental organization relationships to establish and manage a portfolio of scientific and technical engagements that will enable BTRP to improve the breadth and quality of communication, coordination, and collaboration with external stakeholders and maximize BTRP impact globally. She also develops the strategy and approach for BTRP to address emerging threats and opportunities including synthetic biology, cyberbiosecurity, microbial forensics, and countering biothreat networks. Previously, Dr. Lancaster served as the AFRICOM Science Manager for BTRP, managing BTRP’s cooperative biological research portfolio in Africa and working with collaborators in ten countries to strengthen biosurveillance capabilities and reduce the threat of pathogens of security concern. She also led the development of the 3rd Africa One Health Congress, held in Johannesburg in February 2019.
From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Lancaster was a research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she applied her expertise in epidemiology and data analysis to a broad range of projects, including vector surveillance in the Republic of Georgia, blended cyber-physical risk and vulnerability assessments, development of cybersecurity resilience metrics, and development of a proof-of-concept decision support tool for biological event response that integrated epidemiologic modeling with decision theory to guide decision making under uncertainty. Dr. Lancaster received the Secretary of Energy Appreciation Award for contributions to the US government response during the West Africa Ebola outbreak and she holds a patent for a computer-implemented blended cyber-physical security evaluation method.
Prior to joining PNNL, Dr. Lancaster was the regional epidemiologist in the West Tennessee Region of the Tennessee Department of Health from 2006-2010. Dr. Lancaster developed and implemented a regional syndromic surveillance program, performed routine disease surveillance, investigated disease outbreaks, served as public information officer during the 2009 H1N1 influenza epidemic, and collaborated in the development of preparedness and response plans for natural and man-made disasters.