In April 2009, I remember hearing the first reports of a potentially virulent strain of influenza called “Swine Flu.” While the outbreak started in rural Mexico, a few isolated cases had already shown up in California and Texas.
By the end of the following month, Swine Flu, also known as H1N1, had swept through all 50 states and the virus’ first fatalities were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Current World Bank estimates put the global population around 6.8 billion humans, so to be named by Time magazine as one of 2011’s top 100 most influential people in the world you have to be doing something interesting. We’re confident you’ll find Dr. Nathan Wolfe fits that bill.
As founder and director of the
Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, a non-governmental organization whose team of scientists has spent more than a decade developing a global system to prevent pandemics, Wolfe is elbow-deep in the “hot zone,” the term made famous by author Richard Preston’s 1994 book of the same name.
In addition to the globetrotting hunt for viruses, Wolfe is the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University, his undergraduate alma mater. He earned his doctorate in immunology and infectious diseases from Harvard in 1998.