2013: Prisms Lecture Series

allendorf_thumbDr. Keera Allendorf, PhD, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Family Behaviors: Maternal and Child Health in South Asia
Wednesday, April 3 at 12:00 pm
Lucy Ellis Lounge in the Foreign Languages Building
Part of the Prisms Global Health Lecture Series organized by the Global Health Initiative in collaboration with the Center for Global Studies
wolfeViral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention
Part of the Prisms Global Health Lecture Series organized by the Global Health Initiative in collaboration with the Center for Global Studies
Dr. Nathan Wolfe, Stanford University
February 11, 2013
12:00 PM
NCSA Auditorium, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana

A video of this lecture is available to University of Illinois faculty, staff and students upon request.

“Virus Hunter” Nathan Wolfe rethinks pandemic control for our globalized world. By concentrating on how epidemic diseases—such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile—all stem from human contact with infected animals, he is able to discover new threatening viruses where they first emerge. According to Wired magazine, “Wolfe’s brand of globe-trotting echoes an almost Victorian scientific ethic, an expedition to catalog the unseen menagerie of the world.” His debut book, The Viral Storm, is an “engrossing and fast-paced chronicle of medical exploration and discovery” (Publisher’s Weekly) that take readers from the jungles of Africa to Wolfe’s state-of-the-art labs, shedding light on the often overlooked but ultimately critical field of microbiology.

In 2009, Rolling Stone named him one of their “100 Agents of Change”, and Google and the Skoll foundation have given him over $11 million in funding—making Wolfe, a Stanford University professor, a man poised to eradicate pandemics before they even happen.

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 I discuss how novel viruses enter into the human population from animals and go on to become pandemics. I then discuss attempts by my own 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.

Co-sponsored in part by the Center for Global Studies, a National Resource Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Education.
Funded by the Student Organization Resource Fee.

ACES Office of International Programs
Campus Honors Program
Center for African Studies
Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies
Center for One Health Illinois at the College of Veterinary Medicine
Center for Global Studies
Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
College of Medicine O’Morchoe Leadership Fund
European Union Center
Focal Point
Frontiers International Health Society (RSO)
Department of Geography and Geographic Information
Global Health Initiative at the University of Illinois
Global Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Illinois Global Health Initiative (RSO)
Infection Biology Training Grant
Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
Office of International Programs & Studies
Subsistence Marketplace Initiative, College of Business
Russian, East European, & Eurasian Center
School of Integrative Biology
Department of Sociology
UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship
Department of Urban & Regional Planning
Women & Gender in Global Perspective