Rockwell Lecture Explores The Hunt For the Next Killer Virus

World-renowned scientist Nathan Wolfe, director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI), has spent years tracking viruses from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia with a goal of identifying new strains to  prevent pandemics, such as HIV. His work will be the subject of this year’s University of Houston Elizabeth D. Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Lecture. Wolfe will discuss "Viral Forecasting: On the Hunt for the Next Killer Virus." The event takes place at 7 p.m., April 26 at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel, Conrad N. Hilton Ballroom. A reception will be at 6 p.m. Both events are free. Since space is limited, RSVP by calling 713-743-2255.

Wolfe, the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University, founded GVFI, a pandemic early warning system that monitors the spillover of novel infectious agents from animals to humans. GVFI coordinates activities of more than 100 scientists and staff from countries around the world. He has active research and public health projects in such areas as Cameroon, China and the Central African Republic.

Wolfe has published more than 50 articles and chapters. Among his major findings include the discovery of the first evidence of natural transmission of retroviruses from nonhuman primates to humans. His work has been published in or covered by Nature, Science, The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association and Scientific American. Wolfe has received research support totaling more than $20 million in grants and contracts from numerous organizations, including the National Institutes of Health. A 1997 recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, Wolfe has received numerous honors, including a 2010 World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Award.

Staff reports