Steph Batalis

Research Fellow Print Bio

Steph Batalis is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Her research examines a number of issues at the intersection of AI and the life sciences, including how emerging technologies will impact both biomedical innovation and U.S. biosecurity. Before joining CSET, Steph was the STEM Policy Fellow at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center where she focused on economic and workforce development initiatives in North Carolina’s life sciences ecosystem. Steph earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus in Structural and Computational Biophysics from Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine and a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Vanderbilt University.

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AI and Biorisk: An Explainer

December 2023

Recent government directives, international conferences, and media headlines reflect growing concern that artificial intelligence could exacerbate biological threats. When it comes to biorisk, AI tools are cited as enablers that lower information barriers, enhance novel… Read More

The recent Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence will have major implications for biotechnology. The EO demonstrates that the White House considers biorisk… Read More

In an op-ed published in Foreign Policy, CSET’s Steph Batalis discusses the potential misuse of artificial intelligence chatbots in providing instructions for the construction of biological weapons. Read More

Formal Response

Comment on OSTP RFI 88 FR 60513

October 2023

CSET submitted the following comment in response to a Request for Information (RFI) from the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy about potential changes to the Policies for Federal and Institutional Oversight of… Read More

In their op-ed featured in Think Global Health, CSET's Steph Batalis and Caroline Schuerger provide expert analysis on the ongoing debate in the United States regarding gain-of-function (GOF) research. Read More

Gain- and loss-of-function research have contributed to breakthroughs in vaccine development, genetic research, and gene therapy. At the same time, a subset of gain- and loss-of-function studies involve high-risk, highly virulent pathogens that could spread… Read More

Steph Batalis, Caroline Schuerger and Vikram Venkatram explore three notable areas in the life sciences where LLMs are catalyzing meaningful advances: drug discovery, genetics, and precision medicine. Read More


A Shot of Resilience

May 2023

Vaccines keep the U.S. public healthy while safeguarding economic stability and biosecurity. This report assesses the domestic vaccine manufacturing landscape and identifies two major vulnerabilities: a reliance on foreign manufacturers and a lack of manufacturing… Read More

Pandemic threats are increasing as globalization, urbanization, and encroachment on animal habitats cause infectious outbreaks to become more frequent and severe. It is imperative that the United States build a pipeline of medical countermeasure development,… Read More

CSET's Dr. Caroline Schuerger, Dr. Steph Batalis, and Vikram Venkatram submitted this comment with recommendations for the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative. Read More