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Dr Filippa Lentzos

Research interests

Filippa Lentzos specialises in biological threats and international governance efforts to address them, particularly through the Biological Weapons Convention. She is especially interested in the governance of emerging life science tehnologies like synthetic biology and gene editing technologies, and in biodefence compliance assessment and transparency initiatives. 

Her work involves sustained and in-depth engagement with scientists, governments, international organizations, and the United Nations.

More details about Lentzos' work and research interests are available in the King's Spotlight video: “Can we stop the threat of biological weapons?" and on her personal website:

Follow @FilippaLentzos on Twitter for up-to-date commentary on news and events related to biological disarmament, non-proliferation and defence. 

Biographical details

Originally trained in human sciences before obtaining her sociology doctorate, Lentzos spent the first 10 years of her career at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 2012, she joined King’s as part of the team establishing the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, a unique interdisciplinary social science department carrying out leading research on some of the biggest global health challenges facing the world today. 

As well as an academic researcher, Lentzos actively contributes to policy. Her engagement centres primarily on the mulitlateral Biological Weapons Convention and its regular meetings at the Palais des Nations, the Geneva-based headquarters of the United Nations. Lentzos regularly provides policy briefings, contributes to national working papers submitted by national delegations as official documents to BWC meetings, carries out consultancy work, and writes reports and policy briefs. In 2017, she took on the role of BWC NGO Coordinator and initiated the first Joint NGO statement to the BWC, which she delivered to the Meeting of States Parties in December 2017 on behalf of nearly 60 organisations and individuals.

Lentzos was part of the original social science team establishing the Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation (CSynBI) together with biologists and engineers at Imperial College London to spearhead UK research in synthetic biology. In 2012, the group published a textbook Synthetic Biology: A Primer giving a broad overview of the field and the foundational concepts on which it is built, as well as the main ethical, legal and societal issues surrounding synthetic biology. A second textbook, Synthetic Biology & Bioweapons, is forthcoming.

Lentzos has been an Associate Editor of BioSocieties, an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of life sciences, for nearly ten years. Before that, she acted as the journal's Managing Editor. Lentzos also has a long-standing engagement with The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which has been bridging the technology divide between scientific research, foreign policy and public engagement since it was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists. In 2018, she took on the role as The Bulletin biosecurity columnist.

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