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University of Iowa News Release

May 13, 2005

Experts To Discuss Rapid On-Site Testing For Terrorism Agents May 19

In this post-911 world, security experts are constantly anticipating new sources, sites and modes of terrorist attacks. Rapid and accurate on-site testing is crucial for protecting the public and saving potentially thousands of lives. On Thursday, May 19, specialists from the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) will discuss the use of on-site assays currently available for rapid screening for terrorism agents.  

The program, to be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 20 of the Nursing Building on the UI campus, is free and open to the public. It also will be broadcast live over the Iowa Communications Network and via streaming video on the Web.

The program will include a review of hand-held assays currently marketed for on-site testing for terrorism agents. The discussion will review recommended criteria to use in making an informed selection of a hand-held assay.

Speakers from the UHL will include Michael A. Pentella, public health medical microbiologist; Bonnie D. Rubin, emergency preparedness and terrorism response coordinator; and Michael D. Wichman, senior program manager for environmental health programs.

The program is part of the spring 2005 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) also will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health, and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health.

For more information on the Grand Round series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277,