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Infectious Disease Expert to Keynote Inaugural GBAC Symposium

Vincent Alonzo, Contributing Editor
Keynote Announced for Inaugural Global Biorisk Advisory Council Symposium

CHICAGO — The Global Biorisk Advisory Council, (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, announced that Dr. Deborah Birx, world-renowned medical physician, infectious disease expert and diplomat, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural GBAC Symposium on Air Considerations this Aug. 16-17, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Event management will create a forum for scientists and industry thought leaders to share innovations and best practices for improving indoor air quality in non-healthcare settings.

“The GBAC Symposium is our next step in driving innovation and advancement to make our world safer,” GBAC Senior Director Michael Diamond, said. “This event will bring together environmental safety and infectious disease experts such as Dr. Birx and organizations to discuss real solutions for public health concerns.”

Birx served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force from March 2020 to January 2021. Her three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research and global health.

As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, Birx oversaw the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history.

Most trade show organizers know GBAC from its GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation, which is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. The GBAC STAR accreditation is now a requirement for many show organizers to consider a facility.

“We are hosting our IBS/International Beauty Show and our International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference and Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) this June 2022,” Jill Birkett, Vice President, Questex Wellness Group, said. “We work alongside our partners, such as the LVCC, to do our best to provide a safe, clean environment for our attendees and exhibitors.  Especially in times such as these, partners who recognize the importance of working to create this type of environment are key. We held a very successful event at the facility in June of 2021 and were able to do so because of the great work they are doing at the LVCC, including obtaining GBAC Star Facility Accreditation.”

Related: GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Gives LVCC a Road Map for Safer Events

Also speaking at the GBAC Symposium will be Dr. John McKeon, medical entrepreneur and CEO of Allergy Standards Ltd (ASL), an international standards and certification body. As the founder of ASL, McKeon leads a portfolio of successful healthcare-related ventures and is an adjunct professor in the Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation and a decorated doctor and expert in life sciences, biotechnology and the healthcare business.

Rounding out the Global Biorisk Advisory Council Symposium speaker lineup will be Poppy Co-CEO Elizabeth (EC) Caley, environmental and architectural engineering expert Mark Hernandez, Ph.D., environmental infection prevention expert John LaRochelle, infectious disease scientist John Lowe, Ph.D., biorisk expert Dr. Paul Meechan, GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger, and Biorisk International Executive Director Stefan Wagener, Ph.D.

Event organizers have brought these thought leaders to the Symposium to share insights and strategies for improving indoor air quality in schools, offices, restaurants, gyms, and other non-healthcare settings during a pandemic and beyond.

ISSA members can register for the GBAC Symposium for $250, while the non-member price is $350.

To inquire about sponsorship and exhibitor booth space, email Michael Diamond at

GBAC also invites attendees of the GBAC Symposium, who are interested in presenting at the Symposium to submit abstracts. The deadline to submit a proposal is June 15.

Reach Michael Diamond at

Reach Jill Burkett at


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