Viruses, Tumors and the Meaning of Life

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Date(s) - 6 Mar 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Biodesign Institute at ASU

Exploring the Microbial World

March 6, 2014 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Biodesign Auditorium
727 E. Tyler St. Tempe
AZ 85287


Dr. Nathan Wolfe, founder and CEO of Global Viral Forecasting has degrees in human biology, biological anthropology, and immunology and infectious disease from Harvard University and Stanford University. He has been a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University and UCLA, and is now a visiting professor of human biology at Stanford in addition to directing Global Virus Forecasting.
Dr. Wolfe explores for harmful viruses in remote places and uses his field sites around the world as “listening posts” to try to intercept viruses before they spread widely. Many viruses, like HIV and influenza, jumped from animals to humans, so Dr. Wolfe works in villages whose inhabitants rely on wild game, or bushmeat, for protein. When hunters contact animal fluids during butchering, it makes them especially vulnerable to hosting new microbes. By collecting thousands of blood samples, hunters are important allies for studying emerging diseases.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Event Online

Date & Time: March 6th, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Title: Exploring the Microbial World

Most of the diversity of life on earth is contained within the genomes of the planet’s microbes, including bacteria and particularly viruses, which infect every known form of cellular life on the planet. Arguably the most important biological realm for exploration is the microbial world on earth. Exploration within the microbial world has the potential to generate solutions to some of the major problems and mysteries on our planet, including the future of pandemics, the origins and causes of cancer, and the fundamental boundaries and limits of life. In this seminar, I will discuss contemporary exploration in the microbial world with particular emphasis on the activities done in my own research group on viral discovery and diversity.