Current global disease control efforts focus largely on attempting to stop pandemics after they have already emerged. This fire brigade approach, which generally involves drugs, vaccines, and behavioral change, has severe limitations. Just as we discovered in the 1960s that it is better to prevent heart attacks then try to treat them, over the next 50 years we will realize that it is better to stop pandemics before they spread and that effort should increasingly be focused on viral forecasting and pandemic prevention.
In this talk Wolfe will discuss how novel viruses enter into the human population from animals and go on to become pandemics, then discuss attempts by his research group to study this process and attempt to control viruses that have only recently emerged. By creating a global network at the interface of humans and animals we are working to move viral forecasting from a theoretical possibility to a reality.
Dr. Nathan Wolfe is an epidemiologist who fights disease pandemics with an unprecedented early-warning system to forecast, pinpoint and control new plagues worldwide before they kill millions. He is the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University and the Founder and CEO of Metabiota, as well as the Chairman of Global Viral. His survey of diseases that have historically had the greatest impact on humanity revealed that most started with animals. Based on this, he created a global network of sites in viral hotspots where people are highly exposed to animals and are most at risk for early infection when viruses leap from animals to humans.
Dr. Wolfe has received numerous awards including a Fulbright fellowship and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and was chosen as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011. Nathan has over 80 scientific publications and his work has been published in or covered by Nature, Science, The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, The New Yorker and Forbes among others. He has received support totaling over $30m in grants and contracts from Google.org, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Department of Defense and others.
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