Gryphon Scientific Announces New Organizational Structure and Leadership Team

Gryphon Scientific Announces New Organizational Structure and Leadership Team

TAKOMA PARK, MD, April 11, 2022 – Gryphon Scientific is excited to unveil a new company structure and leadership team designed to sustain and enhance the quality and influence of our work and meet the changing needs of our staff as the company has grown and diversified.

Gryphon Scientific is a small business research and consulting practice that supports our clients in addressing a range of complex global issues, with a focus on health, safety, and security. Our staff, which include scientists, engineers, communications specialists, and policy and planning experts blend research, advanced data analytics, and stakeholder engagement to develop evidence-based solutions and tools that meet end-user needs. Gryphon’s new structure expands the executive leadership team and organizes our scientific and technical staff within a management structure that includes five Practice Areas. The partnership will now oversee Gryphon as a Board, under the leadership of Board Chair Dr. Rocco Casagrande, while the daily operation of Gryphon will be handled by Gryphon’s Executive Team, led by CEO Dr. Corey Meyer.

Dr. Rocco Casagrande - Chair of the Board

I am thrilled with our selection of Corey as Gryphon's new CEO. Over the past seven years at Gryphon, she has demonstrated a rare combination of exceptional intelligence, creativity, tact, and managerial skill essential for the complex role. Gryphon is well poised to grow sustainably under her new leadership. Her appointment will enable me to focus on the more challenging technical topics that I find rewarding.

Executive Leadership Team

Gryphon’s Executive Leadership Team is drawn from the experienced internal pool of Partners. Gryphon has expanded its Executive Team to support the continued growth and success of the organization. The partnership will now oversee Gryphon as a Board, under the leadership of Board Chair Dr. Rocco Casagrande, while the daily operation of Gryphon will be handled by Gryphon’s Executive Team, led by CEO Dr. Corey Meyer. The new leadership team includes:

Corey Meyer
Dr. Corey Meyer - Chief Executive Officer

I look forward to continuing to build Gryphon’s capability to deliver innovative, evidenced-based solutions to enhance health and preparedness in the US and abroad. Gryphon has a dedicated, talented cadre of staff and it is an honor to step into this newly developed leadership position and collaborate with so many passionate individuals to tackle pressing challenges for our clients.

Practice Areas

Gryphon’s re-organization focuses on expanding thought leadership around Practice Areas. Gryphon’s new Practice Area structure coordinates our work and business development in the technical areas for which Gryphon is recognized as a leader. This approach promotes innovation through collaboration among our technical staff, further enhances the technical quality of our products, and provides new professional development opportunities for staff.

Dr. Ryan Ritterson, our new Executive Vice President of Research, will oversee the five Practice Areas:

Press Release | Gryphon Restructuring Announcement

Contact: Lydia Tshamala | Number: +1 301 270 0672  Email: [email protected]

Rocco Casagrande Chosen to Serve on the National Academies Standing Committee on Biotechnology and National Security Needs

Rocco Casagrande Chosen to Serve on the National Academies Standing Committee on Biotechnology and National Security Needs

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently accepted Dr. Casagrande as a member of their new standing committee on biotechnology and national security needs. This committee will enable the national security community to identify advanced biotechnology capabilities, discuss potential barriers or challenges to adoption, and build partnerships between the national security stakeholders and biotechnology experts. The standing committee will explore multiple topics including the applicability of biotechnologies for addressing current or anticipated needs of U.S. national security agencies and the factors, such as workforce, infrastructure, policy, and security, needed to enable technology transition to the national security community. Additionally, the committee will examine the early-stage biotechnology and life science research that demonstrates promising scientific or technical capabilities for addressing national security needs and the innovation ecosystem needed to translate early-stage research into practical application.

Gryphon Scientific Supports COVID-19 Outbreak Response

Gryphon Scientific Supports COVID-19 Outbreak Response

Gryphon Scientific has been called on by clients from state and local governments and across the federal interagency, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security, and National Institutes of Health, to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This work has included:

    • Helping coordinate components of the federal government response: 
      • Helping coordinate federal government efforts to expand community-based testing for COVID-19. 
    • Performing research and providing expert guidance to support the development of preparedness and response policies: 
      • Supporting the development of federal agency policies and plans for multiple aspects of the COVID-19 response, such as the HHS/ASPR Strategic Plan and the federal interagency COVID-19 Data Collection, Fusion, and Analysis Concept of Operations. As part of these efforts, working with federal stakeholders to capture lessons learned from the response and incorporate them into planning documents to inform future pandemic-focused programming and resource allocation.  
      • Conducting a nationwide survey of clinical laboratories to identify challenges they faced in performing COVID-19 testing, to inform strategies for improving surge diagnostic testing in future public health emergencies. 
      • Advising local governments on social distancing policies.  
    • Facilitating the use of COVID-19 data in research and government decision-making: 
      • Critically evaluating and synthesizing published research and media reports on COVID-19 to inform government decision-making and policy development.  
      • Coordinating the deposition of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and research data into public databases and scientific communications to increase the accessibility of the data and research findings.  
    • Performing risk assessment and infectious disease modeling: 
      • Contributing to the development of SARS-CoV-2 transmission models by developing evidence-based parameters related to infectivity and health effects.  
      • Developing risk assessment tools to predict country-to-country spread of the virus internationally. 
    • Developing training: 
      • Developing training materials for first responders on how to recognize and mitigate occupational risks from COVID-19, including appropriate usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe work practices.  

We bring our hallmark deep scientific expertise and rigorous, evidence-based approach to understanding and communicating risk to this work. If you are interested to learn more about Gryphon Scientific support for the COVID-19 response, please contact us at [email protected].

Selected Examples of Our COVID-19 Response Support

Helping NIOSH understand occupational hazards related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Gryphon Scientific is supporting the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) by performing ongoing rapid review of the COVID-19 literature related to occupational health and safety. Gryphon staff screen on average more than 3,000 titles a week to identify publications that address worker safety in the context of COVID-19, encompassing topic areas such as epidemiology, occupational exposure, worker mental health, engineering controls, long-term complications from infection, and efficacy of PPE, among others. In addition, we conduct ongoing surveillance of news reports of workplace violence related to COVID-19. From the resulting literature and news reports, Gryphon staff develop summaries of the most relevant and impactful publications (approximately 40 publications a week) for NIOSH. These summaries enable NIOSH to use the latest COVID-related scientific literature to help them develop technical guidance for worker safety and to inform their research plans to address knowledge gaps.

Developing Training for Essential Workers on Occupational Risks From COVID-19

Gryphon Scientific has developed training materials for essential workers and disaster response volunteers on managing occupational risks from COVID-19 in a variety of formats. We developed a training video series focused on COVID-19 and other respiratory disease risks that first responders routinely face while performing their duties, which includes information on the characteristics of COVID-19, appropriate use of PPE, and safe work practices. Gryphon staff also created the CERT Hero: COVID 101 mobile app, which contains informative videos, knowledge checks, and mock scenarios designed to challenge users to recall and apply pathogen protection measures such as social distancing and handwashing in work-relevant scenarios. The content for our training curricula is based on guidelines published by CDC.

These resources are designed to be accessible training tools to supplement in-person training received by essential workers and disaster response volunteers, helping them protect themselves and their communities. The training videos can be accessed through Gryphon Scientific’s YouTube channel.

Supporting the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance

Since its inception in 2014, Gryphon Scientific served on a team that managed the Data Processing and Coordinating Center (DPCC) for the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS), a program run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The CEIRS program was a multidisciplinary network of academic Centers whose investigators performed research on host immune response, viral pathogenesis, and transmission of influenza and coronaviruses. After SARS-CoV-2 emerged, the CEIRS Network pivoted rapidly to support the pandemic response through genomic surveillance and research. Gryphon worked with DPCC team members to increase the accessibility and usefulness of data generated by CEIRS researchers through scientific communication and data collection and management.

The DPCC team quickly designed and developed a novel resources webpage on the CEIRS public website to share research communications from CEIRS investigators, including publications, social media posts, and information on CEIRS-generated virus isolates and other reagents. The DPCC also facilitated deposition of SARS-CoV-2 sequence and research data into public databases through the development of standardized data submission templates (including data standards) and processes used by CEIRS researchers.

Link to the CEIRS public website www.niaidceirs.org/covid-19/

CDC Survey of Clinical Laboratories on Surge Testing

CDC Survey of Clinical Laboratories on Surge Testing

On behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Laboratory Systems, Gryphon Scientific and Abt Associates conducted a national survey of clinical laboratories to understand whether and how laboratories would choose to participate in surge testing during a public health emergency.

Between January and September 2021, laboratories that are certified to perform moderate and/or high-complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) were randomly selected for participation in the survey, to ensure that a nationally representative sample of clinical laboratories was surveyed. The survey asked about factors that influence a laboratory’s capability, capacity, and willingness to perform surge testing following a chemical, biological (intentional or natural), or radiological incident.

Survey data analysis is in progress. CDC and its public health partners will use the survey data to expand partnerships with the clinical laboratory sector and improve surge testing during the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies. The survey findings also will be shared with the laboratory community via peer-reviewed publications.

Gryphon Scientific is also collaborating with Healthcare Ready, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the National Marrow Donor Program on this survey project. If you have questions about this survey or want to learn about additional opportunities to become involved in the project, please contact [email protected].

Contributions to the Community

Contributions to the Community

Introduction

We’re small, but we believe everyone can contribute to the community. The efforts described below demonstrate our interest in environmental conservation as well as our commitment to social and environmental justice, which we believe are inextricably linked. We support initiatives which seek to ensure freedom from injustice and equal access to a healthy environment that includes access to educational and economic opportunity.

Environmental Stewardship

Gryphon Scientific has been a Montgomery County Green Certified Business since 2016. This certification demonstrates Gryphon’s commitment to environmental stewardship through the adoption of sustainable business practices such as recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, using energy-efficient equipment and appliances, and practices to reduce paper use. Gryphon also promotes sustainability outside the office by encouraging alternative modes of transportation for employees, donating or recycling used IT equipment, and participating in local sustainability initiatives and environmental events. Through these efforts, we hope to be an example of sustainable and responsible practices for our employees, business partners, and the community.

Left Gryphon Scientific staff participated in the Friends of Sligo Creek Sweep the Creek Event, which involved clearing trash from Sligo Creek waterway and the surrounding Becca Lilly Neighborhood Park.

Learn more | Montgomery County Green Business Certification

Gryphon Green Team | Gautham Venugopalan, Casey Basham, Andrew Taylor, Ana Ruess

Equity and Inclusion

Gryphon Scientific values equity and inclusion and has taken concrete steps to advance these values in our local and global communities.

    • Matching donations. We match staff donations to any charitable organization that works to promote the right of global people to equality and freedom from discrimination, violence, or degrading treatment regardless of race or ethnicity, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic circumstances.
    • Research on systemic injustice. Recognizing that our research skills can be an important asset in the fight to change hate and address inequality, we are committed to pursuing work related to equity and have allocated internal funding for noteworthy ideas on these topics that may not have an available or receptive funder.
    • Supporting the next generation of scientists. We provide financial support to “Letters to a Pre-Scientist,” a science engagement program that focuses on both literacy and science education in low-income schools by connecting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professionals as pen pals with middle school students.
    • Filling technology needs of underserved communities. Gryphon donates surplus IT equipment we decommission to non-profit organizations to help address inequities in technology access while reducing electronic waste. We were pleased to refurbish and ship a server and routers to a rural college in Bolivia to improve students’ access to wifi, aiding the College’s mission of making higher education and job training available to young Bolivians with access to educational opportunity. Gryphon also regularly donates used computer equipment to local non-profits.

Gryphon Scientific Receives a Major Grant to Address Critical Knowledge Gaps in Biosafety

Gryphon Scientific Receives a Major Grant to Address Critical Knowledge Gaps in Biosafety

Gryphon Scientific was awarded a major, three-year grant by Open Philanthropy to conduct critical research in biosafety. The massive growth in the power of biology to understand and manipulate life will continue to benefit mankind but has not been matched by a growth in scholarship to understand how to ensure that such work is done safely – major funding for biosafety research has been scarce for decades. This first-in-kind grant will be used to address critical knowledge gaps and foster the establishment of a community of researchers focused on transforming biosafety into an evidence-based practice, through several seminal studies across disciplines in biosafety:

    • Failure analysis: Replicating accidents with modern plastic labware to determine how likely these vessels are to release potentially infectious material, and how much or the material is released in droplets or aerosols. Existing data in this field uses laboratory glassware, which is no longer widely used.
    • Safety best practices: Ensuring that innovative systems already deployed to improve safety are widely disseminated so that the entire biomedical enterprise can become safer.
    • Human reliability: Investigating how, why, and how often laboratory workers make mistakes, through controlled experiments in academic and clinical laboratories and via observation in teaching and training laboratories. This research will engage academics in the United States and clinical labs throughout low and middle income countries.

Through these studies, we will foster a worldwide community conducting applied biosafety research. To that end, the studies will be multidisciplinary, spanning traditional engineering, political science, and life science research in academe and in clinical settings, demonstrating that researchers from many backgrounds can contribute.

Data from this research will transform how we think about biosafety, ensuring that our investments in the life sciences continue to be of overwhelming benefit to mankind and not be completely undone by one careless minute.

Gryphon Scientific Participates in the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium

Gryphon Scientific Participates in the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium

The Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC) is a collective of academic, private sector, and non-governmental organizations that support implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and related international frameworks to strengthen national capabilities for preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats. The GHSAC is a permanent member of the GHSA Steering Group, contributes to GHSA Action Packages and Task Forces, and leads the Advocacy and Communications Task Force. From 2019 – 2020, Dr. Margaret Rush, a Partner and Principal Scientist at Gryphon, is serving as the GHSAC representative to the Stakeholder Engagement Package. In this role, Dr. Rush is working closely with members of the GHSAC leadership group and a Steering Committee of approximately 30 member organizations to advance the GHSAC’s mission of promoting collaboration, excellence, innovation, and commitment in implementing the GHSA. Gryphon also is helping to maintain the GHSAC website.

Gryphon’s Managing Director Publishes White Paper on the Need for Empirical Research in Biosafety as Part of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security

Gryphon’s Managing Director Publishes White Paper on the Need for Empirical Research in Biosafety as Part of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security

Dr. Rocco Casagrande, Gryphon’s managing director and an advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, recently published a white paper with CSIS on the need for empirical research to support laboratory biosafety. In this paper, Dr. Casagrande argues that the life sciences have advanced much faster than our knowledge of biosafety, the practice and knowledge needed to prevent accidents in life science laboratories. Research is needed into how accidents occur and the effectiveness of training and equipment to prevent or mitigate accidents. Dr. Casagrande suggests that seminal research could be funded for merely $10M a year and that this research is best housed at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Commission, co-chaired by former Senator Kelly Ayotte and Dr. Julie Geberding, former Director of CDC, aims to “chart a bold vision for the future of U.S. leadership in global health security at home and abroad.” Dr. Casagrande was appointed as an expert and advisor to the Commission in 2017.

Assessing the Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement in China’s Biotechnology Development

Assessing the Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement in China's Biotechnology Development

Overview

In the past decade, China’s biotechnology industry has grown tremendously, fueled by Chinese government policies promoting the biotechnology sector as a driver of economic growth and increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries. Gryphon Scientific, in partnership with Rhodium Group, performed an extensive investigation of China’s biotechnology industry and the role of U.S. companies in its development to assess the economic and security implications for the U.S. Our report provides a comprehensive look at a growing power in the global biotechnology industry and includes recommendations for specific steps to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.

In July 2019, Dr. Mark Kazmierczak provided expert testimony for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on exploring U.S. reliance on China's biotechnology and pharmaceutical products. Dr. Kazmierczak briefed the Commission on key findings and recommendations from Gryphon's report and answered questions on how China's advances in biotechnology applications in healthcare and other industries may affect the U.S. economy and national security.

Motivation

In the past decade, Chinese policy has placed an emphasis on the importance of biotechnology to the future economic growth of the country, and its biotechnology industry has seen tremendous growth. Much of this growth has come through increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries, through investment, partnerships, and other business, scientific, and academic relationships. To identify potential economic and security ramifications to the U.S., we sought to identify what strategies Chinese biotechnology companies are using to acquire new technologies and relevant data, including U.S. healthcare-related data, and what increased competition from China could mean for the U.S. biotechnology industry.

Methods

Our approach was multi-faceted and drew on diverse data sources. Open source information was used to assess the current capabilities of China’s biotechnology industry and its likely future direction. We spoke to entrepreneurs and investors in the U.S. biotechnology industry to understand the current relationships between the two countries and the benefits and risks that collaboration and partnership may bring. Through our partner, Rhodium Group, we identified and analyzed China-based investments into U.S. biotechnology companies. Through analysis of these data streams, we assessed the potential risks to U.S. economic and national security and identified avenues through which the U.S. could secure its interests.

Results

China’s biotechnology prowess is growing at a tremendous rate, supported by policies and investments at the national and local levels. Our report describes the technologies and capabilities of Chinese biotechnology companies, their goals for growth and development, and the methods used to achieve them. With these activities in mind, an honest and objective look at the risks and benefits of growing interdependence of the U.S. and China follows, with recommendations for specific steps that could be taken to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.

Resources

The public report, “China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement,” was released on February 14, 2019.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission testimony, “Exploring the Growing Reliance on China’s Biotech and Pharmaceutical Products,” was given on July 31, 2019.

Rocco featured in the New York Times

Rocco Casagrande Featured in the New York Times

Rocco Casagrande Featured in the New York Times

Rocco Casagrande Featured in the New York Times

An interview with Dr. Rocco Casagrande, Gryphon Scientific’s Managing Partner, was featured in the New York Times. This article follows the release of the risk and benefit assessment of research on pathogens of pandemic potential.