KPCHR Sponsors Free Lecture by Pandemic Expert Nathan Wolfe

Saward Lecture 2013

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research will host its annual Saward Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at the Newmark Theater in downtown Portland. Tickets are free but required and can be ordered online or by calling 503-335-2466.

This year’s speaker is Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a microbiologist and author of the book The Viral Storm.

Dr. Wolfe—called “the world’s most prominent virus hunter” by The New Yorker—spends weeks at a time in African countries such as Cameroon and Gabon tracking down the source of the next potentially deadly virus. He is the founder of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI), a nonprofit promoting understanding, exploration and stewardship of the microbial world.

When Dr. Wolfe is in the field, he and his team travel deep into remote forests to collect blood samples from African hunters and the animals they have killed.

Eating “bushmeat” is one way that some of the most dangerous viral diseases known to mankind are transferred from animals to humans. In fact, since World War II, more than 75 percent of the approximately 300 new viral diseases that have been identified jumped to humans from wild animals.

Dr. Wolfe has harrowing tales of his adventures in these remote realms, and many refer to him as “the Indiana Jones of virus hunting.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in human biology at Stanford University, Dr. Wolfe earned advanced degrees in biological anthropology, immunology and infectious diseases from Harvard. Since 2008 he has been the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor of Human Biology at Stanford University.

TIME magazine included Nathan Wolfe in the “2011 Time 100” as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Rolling Stone named him one of the “100 Agents of Change” in 2009 and Popular Science recognized him as one of their “Brilliant 10” in 2006. Dr. Wolfe is the author of more than 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. He has received support totaling over $30 million in grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other funding agencies.

Year round, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research conduct federally funded studies to identify the most effective ways to help people adopt healthy habits and thrive at any age. The center also tests vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective. Every year the center hosts the Saward Lecture as a free benefit to the community.

We hope you can join us on the evening of October 22nd to hear Dr. Wolfe in person.

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