Tracking the ISTAR
by Mary F. Patel, citypaper.net, 17 October 2002
The University of Pennsylvania's new institute for the study of terrorism will go public this Fri., Oct. 18, with a two-and-a-half-hour symposium at the Annenberg Center.
Called the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response, the institute's mission is to research domestic and international strategic threats.
Harvey Rubin, a physician who treats infectious diseases and teaches at Penn, is an ISTAR director. There are 73 other Penn faculty members from various departments also involved.
Rubin said that the institute is being funded by private donors. The ISTAR team has also applied for federal, state and local grants.
Former Gov. Tom Ridge, now the director of Homeland Security in Washington, has been alerted to ISTAR.
"There are a lot of threats out there," said Rubin, who will talk about infectious diseases. "Not just anthrax and smallpox."
Other speakers will include a veterinarian and a geologist. "Changes in temperatures affect animals' health," said Rubin, "and the climate affects behavior."
World leaders can deny crude oil, water or any major element to nations as a way of promoting their power.
Researching bioterrorism and other threats is not new to Penn. Departmental findings are now a part of ISTAR.
The ISTAR symposium begins at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information e-mail Info@ISTAR.upenn.edu.
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