Center for Biological Defense

Welcome to the USF Center for Biological Defense


The world has changed since September 11, 2001. Threats to our nation coupled with rapidly expanding globalization have led to major commitments of resources at the national, state, and local levels to prepare for and respond to both natural and manmade catastrophic events. Through the foresight and advocacy of Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young, the University of South Florida Center for Biological Defense (USF CBD) has been at the forefront of applied biodefense and emerging infectious disease research since these issues emerged as public health priorities in 2001.

The multidisciplinary collaborative efforts both within the University of South Florida and with other universities have led to advances in technologies to detect biolocial agents in a wide variety of samples and to identify potential threats through medical event surveillance. In most disasters, epidemics or terrorist attacks, local response will have the greatest potential to reduce the public health impact within the first 72 hours. As a result, the CBD has focused on development of technologies from the "ground up". This approach has led to strong community-based support and involvement. Over 25,000 first responders and public officials have been trained through the CBD's Education Component and CBD faculty and staff serve on a number of state and local advisory committees.

This website highlights some of the accomplishments by the CBD and it's collaborators in the Florida Biodefense Research Consortium (FBRC). It is also an invitation to learn more about the research, education and other activities of the Center.


Wil Milhous, PhD Thomas Unnasch, PhD
Wil Milhous, PhD Thomas Unnasch, PhD
Co-Director Co-Director


Established in 2000, the USF CBD is an active, multidisciplinary network that enhances public health preparedness for bioterrorism. Funded primarily by the Department of Defense (DoD), the overall goal of the USF CBD is to support and promote homeland security through laboratory research and education programs. Co-located with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) Tampa Branch Laboratory, this unique partnership provides greater applied research capabilities, an expanded network of biodefense scientists throughout the state, and an increased capacity to translate research from the bench to the field. The USF CBD has funded over 30 projects at eight universities within the Florida State University System.

USF College of Public Health is the parent organization for the Center for Biological Defense. The department home for the Center for Biological Defense is Global Health.