Institute for Biosecurity

The innovative researchers at Saint Louis University's Institute for Biosecurity are experts dedicated to preparing the next generation of leaders who will be at the forefront of biological and biosecurity disaster preparedness.

We have published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and policy documents, and presented at more than 200 regional, national and international conferences.

Our Research Interests

  • Health policy
  • Impact of long-term use of respiratory protection for health care personnel and first responders
  • Increasing resilience among individuals, agencies, and communities
  • Influencing factors and barriers to vaccine uptake
  • Maximizing mass dispensing of medical countermeasures for biological events
  • Selection and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Ebola and other emerging pathogens
  • Zoonoses

Current Projects

A list of current research projects at the institute is below. If you are interested in collaborating us on research or education initiatives, please contact Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor and director of the Institute for Biosecurity.

Childcare Agency Staff and Parents’ Vaccination Compliance and Needs Assessment

An assessment of the uptake of seasonal influenza, pertussis, and hepatitis A vaccines among childcare staff, administrators, and parents of children in childcare.

In addition, staff and parental support for a staff mandatory vaccination policy or agency certification program were assessed.

Publications related to this project:

  • Rebmann, T., Wang, J., Wilson, K. D., Gilbertson, P., and Wakefield, M. (2016). Parents’ and staff’s support for a childcare agency employee mandatory vaccination policy or agency certification program. American Journal of Infection Control, 44: 799-804. PMCID: 27021508.
  • Rebmann, T., Arnold, L.D., Elliott, M.B., Gilbertson, P.G., and Wakefield, M. (2016). Vaccination for child clients and employees in St. Louis childcare agencies: Vaccine uptake and policies versus parents' perceptions. American Journal of Infection Control, 44(9), 1010-1015. PMCID: 27238943.
  • Rebmann, T., Baskin, C. R., Loux, T. M., and Wakefield, M. (2016). Uptake and attitudes regarding Hepatitis A vaccine among childcare center staff, administrators, and parents. Public Health, S0033-3506(16), 30181-30190. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.07.012.
  • Rebmann, T., Loux, T. M., and Daly, B. (in press). Uptake and attitudes regarding seasonal influenza vaccination among childcare center staff, administrators, and parents. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

Environmental Contaminants as Potential Chemical Warfare Agents

An examination of multiple years of environmental contamination that may affect population health in certain parts of the world, a concern compounded by the potential dual-use of these contaminants.

Publications related to this project:

  • Works in progress

Contact: Carole Baskin, DVM, MSc, CPIA, professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

History of the Recombinant DNA Guidelines Part 2: Evolution of the Guidelines in the 80s

A look at the history of recombinant DNA guidelines affecting research.

Publications related to this project:

  • Part 1 in press at Perspectives in Biology and Medicine: Baskin, C. R., R. Gatter, M.J. Campbell, J.M. Dubois, A.C. Waits. Self-Regulation of Science: What Can We Still Learn from Asilomar?

Contact: Carole Baskin, DVM, MSc, CPIA, professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Independent Assessment of the Impact of the Select Agent Regulations on the U.S. Academic Research Enterprise

 An independent and anonymous survey of key university scientists, Select Agent Responsible Officials and senior research administrators on the benefits, challenges and impacts of Select Agent Regulations on the U.S. academic research enterprise.

Publications related to this project:

  • Works in progress

Contact: Carole Baskin, DVM, MSc, CPIA, professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

K-12 School Preparedness for Naturally Occurring and Man-Made Biological Event

An assessment of the impact of an educational intervention for school nurses on Missouri K-12 schools for their preparedness related to naturally occurring and man-made biological events, such as bioterrorism, outbreaks of emerging pathogens and pandemics.

Publications related to this project:

  • Rebmann, T., Elliott, M. B., Artman, D., VanNatta, M., and Wakefield, M. (2016). Impact of an education intervention on Missouri K-12 school disaster and biological event preparedness. Journal of School Health, 86(11): 794-802. DOI: 10.1111/josh.12435
  • Rebmann, T., Kunerth, A., K., Zelicoff, A., Elliott, M. B., and Wieldt, H. F. (2016). Missouri K12 school collection and reporting of syndromic surveillance data: A cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 16(103), 1-7. PMCID: PMC4736256

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

Personal Protective Equipment Use Among Health Care Personnel for Ebola and other Emerging Pathogens

With this project, we aimed to assess and increase the knowledge of health care personnel related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases.

  • Rebmann, T., and Carrico, R. (in press). Consistent infection prevention practices: Protecting patients and nurses during routine and emerging infectious diseases care. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Invited article.

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

Presenteeism Among Missouri School Nurses

An assessment of the extent to which Missouri school nurses engage in presenteeism related to influenza-like illness symptoms (i.e., working while ill).

  • Rebmann, T., Turner, J. A., and Kunerth, A. K. (2016). Presenteeism attitudes and behavior among Missouri Kindergarten to twelfth grade (K12) school nurses. Journal of School Nursing, 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/1059840516637651. PMCID: 27026665.

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

Racial Disparities in Public Expectations of Hospitals for Non-Medical Resources During Disasters

An assessment of the general public’s expectations of hospitals to provide non-medical resources to the uninjured during disasters.

In particular, this study aimed to determine the extent to which racial disparities exist regarding the general public’s expectations of hospitals, as was first identified in an earlier study.

  • Charney, R. L., Rebmann, T., Dalawari, P, and Endrizal, A. (in press). The general public’s expectations of hospitals to provide resources and services to the uninjured during disasters: A qualitative study. Health Security.
  • Charney, R. L., Rebmann, T., Endrizal, A., and Dalawari, P. (in press). The general public’s attitudes and beliefs regarding resource management, collaboration, and community assistance centers during disasters. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.
  • Charney, R.L., Rebmann, T., Esguerra, C.R., Lai, C.W., Dalawari, P. (2013). Public expectations for nonemergency hospital resources and services during disasters. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 7, 167-174. PMCID: 24618168
  • Charney, R.L., Rebmann, T., Esguerra, C.R., Lai, C.W., Dalawari, P. (2013). Public perceptions of hospital responsibilities to those presenting without medical injury or illness during a disaster. Journal of Emergency Medicine, 45(4), 578-583. PMCID: 23845529

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

The Value of Improved and Sustained Information Access By Library Expertise (VISIBLE) in Missouri

With this project, we aimed to increase awareness and knowledge of National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources among public health professionals, health officials, emergency responders and reference librarians through a train-the-trainer format, and evaluate the impact of this education on individual competence.

This project provided multi-disciplinary workshops that enhance participants’ understanding and skills in using NLM resources, including WISER, REMM, CHEMM, TOXNET, MedlinePlus, and the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Center.

The primary aim was to increase the capability of Missouri emergency managers, disaster planners, public health professionals and reference librarians to access accurate and evidence-based information on various disasters.

Publications related to this project:

  • Works in progress

Contact: Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC, professor, Department of Epidemiology and director of the Institute for Biosecurity

About the Institute

Founded in 2000, the Institute for Biosecurity at Saint Louis University was a pioneer in online education.

Today, the Institute offers three competency-based, accredited graduate programs in online and hybrid formats — and the only entirely online Master of Public Health with a concentration in biosecurity and disaster preparedness in the world.

Ph.D. in Public Health Studies, with a concentration in BSDP

Master of Public Health with a concentration in BSDP

Graduate certificate in BSDP