As an epidemiologist and data scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Mary Lancaster provides analysis and subject matter expertise across projects in biodefense, non- and counter-proliferation, cybersecurity, and radiological/nuclear domains for sponsors across the United States government. She has developed training curricula and tabletop exercises to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention as well as to improve domestic and international biosafety, biosecurity, and biosurveillance capabilities. Her current research primarily focuses on the intersection of cybersecurity with biosecurity and on analyzing and improving processes, including public health surveillance, cybersecurity resilience, digital biosecurity, and vulnerability assessments.

From 2015 to 2020, Lancaster supported the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP). There, she leveraged strategic interagency, international, and non-governmental organization relationships to establish and manage a portfolio of scientific and technical engagements. This enabled BTRP to improve the breadth and quality of communication, coordination, and collaboration with external stakeholders and maximized BTRP’s global impact. Her accomplishments included leading the development and implementation of the third Africa One Health Congress and co-founding the Bat One Health Research Network, both actively involving BTRP collaborators. She also developed the strategy and approach for BTRP to address emerging threats and opportunities, including synthetic biology, cyber-biosecurity, and countering biothreat networks.

Research Interest

  • Epidemiology
  • Biological Nonproliferation
  • One Health
  • Public Health
  • Cyberbiosecurity
  • Digital Biosecurity
  • Threat Agnostic Biodefense
  • System Resilience


  • PhD in veterinary pathobiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS in animal science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Chair, PNNL Institutional Review Board (IRB), August 2014 to August 2015
  • Member, PNNL IRB, October 2013 to August 2015; January 2021-present
  • PNNL Derivative Classifier, April 2012 to August 2015; December 2020-present
  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Microbiology, Society for Epidemiological Research
  • Peer reviewer, Epidemiology and Infection, Health Security

Awards and Recognitions

  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency Director’s Award for exemplary service, November 2020
  • United States Secretary of Energy Appreciation Award for service during West Africa Ebola outbreak, May 2017
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Award for the Physical and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment tool, 2017
  • R&D 100 Award Finalist for the Physical and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment tool, 2016
  • Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative Fellow at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, 2016


  • U.S. Patent No. 9092631, Computer-implemented security evaluation methods, security evaluation systems, and articles of manufacture



  • Adler A, J Beal, M Lancaster, and D Wyschogrod. 2021. Cyberbiosecurity and Public Health in the Age of COVID-19. In: BD Trump, MV Florin, E Perkins, and I Linkov (eds.), Emerging Threats of Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-2086-9_7



  • MacDonald DG, G Muller, SL Clements, SW Patrick, CJ Perkins, MJ Lancaster, and WJ Hutton, III. 2013. "Cyber/Physical Security Vulnerability Assessment Integration." Presented at IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) Conference, Washington, DC on February 25, 2013, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/ISGT.2013.6497883.


  • Corley CD, MJ Lancaster, RT Brigantic, et al. 2012. “Assessing the Continuum of Event-Based Biosurveillance Through an Operational Lens.” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. Volume 10, Number 1. DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2011.0096
  • McDermott JE, KD Jarman, RC Taylor, MJ Lancaster, H Shankaran, KB Vartanian, SL Stevens, M Stenzel-Poore, and AP Sanfilippo. 2012. "Modeling Dynamic Regulatory Processes in Stroke." PLoS Computational Biology 8(10):e1002722. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002722.
  • Mosites E, LR Carpenter, K McElroy, MJ Lancaster, T Ngo, J McQuiston, C Wiedeman and JR Dunn. 2012. “Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding Rocky Mountain spotted fever among Tennessee healthcare providers, 2009.” The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 88: 162-166. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0126


  • Kirschke DL, A Ingram, M Lancaster, JN Roth, and TF Jones. 2009. “Validity of Food Histories Obtained During an Outbreak at an Elementary School.” Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Annual Meeting, June 7-11th, 2009, Buffalo, NY.
  • Lancaster MJ, LR Carpenter, E Holt and JR Dunn. 2009. “Recurrent Salmonella Anatum Outbreaks Linked to Pulled Pork Barbecue—TN, 2006-2008.” International Association of Food Protection 96th Annual Meeting, July 12-15, 2009, Grapevine, Texas.


  • Deal B, C Farello, M Lancaster, T Kompare, and B Hannon. 2003. “A Dynamic Model of the Spatial Spread of an Infectious Disease: The Case of Fox Rabies in Illinois.” In: R Costanza and A Voinov (eds). Spatially Explicit Landscape Simulation Modeling. Springer, New York.


  • Deal B, C Farello, M Lancaster, T Kompare, and B Hannon. 2000. “A Dynamic Model of the Spatial Spread of an Infectious Disease: The Case of Fox Rabies in Illinois.” Environmental Modeling and Assessment 5(1): 47-62. DOI: 10.1023/A:1019045224429
  • Swanson J, M Lancaster, J Anderson, M Crandell, L Haramis, P Grimstad, and U Kitron. 2000. “Overwintering and establishment of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in an urban La Crosse virus enzootic site in Illinois.” Journal of Medical Entomology 37: 454-460. DOI: 10.1093/jmedent/37.3.454