SecureBio is a nonprofit working alongside the MIT Sculpting Evolution Group on highly targeted projects seeking to prevent or respond to the next pandemic.

What problem is SecureBio working on?

SecureBio is working to address the risks from pandemics. See our research on improving biosecurity and pandemic preparedness to learn about why we think this is a high-impact cause.

What does SecureBio do?

As an example of its work, SecureBio has been conducting projects to develop and deploy better personal protective equipment (PPE) before the next pandemic, including:

  • Evaluating the feasibility of new forms of PPE: Should governments invest in portable air filtration, light-based sanitisation, or dry heat devices?
  • Mapping out how testing and certification of PPE works in various countries, to support the rollout of these technologies.
  • Laying the groundwork for estimates of how much PPE would need to be stockpiled in order to keep society from collapsing in a particularly severe pandemic before new large-scale production could be achieved.

The Atlantic covered SecureBio’s motivations for exploring options for much better PPE.

Other examples of SecureBio’s work include:

  • Nucleic Acid Observatory — A project aiming to pioneer widespread, untargeted metagenomic sequencing of our environment to provide reliable early warning of all biological threats — including those we have never seen before.
  • Secure DNA — A project which has developed a highly specific and fully automated screening mechanism to scan DNA orders for potential threats.

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of SecureBio?1.

The impact-focused evaluator Longview Philanthropy has granted to SecureBio.

Note that we and Longview are both part of Effective Ventures — see our transparency page.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.