Dr. Nathan Wolfe founded Global Viral Forecasting (GVF), a hybrid company, to predict and prevent pathogen threats. GVF directs more than 100 scientists worldwide and is active in more than 20 countries. Among Dr. Wolfe's discoveries are the origin of malaria and the first evidence of retroviruses jumping from nonhuman primates to humans. He has published extensively and his work has appeared in or been covered by Nature, Science, The New York Times, The Economist and Forbes, among others. He has received support of over $30m from Google.org, the NIH, Gates Foundation, Merck and the US Department of Defense. He serves on the editorial board of EcoHealth and is a member of DARPA's Defense Science Research Council. Dr. Wolfe was awarded the prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer Award and is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He was recognized as one of Popular Science's ”˜Brilliant 10,' and Rolling Stone's ”˜Top 100 Agents of Change.' He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford and his doctorate from Harvard and is currently the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor at Stanford University
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 thentry 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.