Dr. Nathan Wolfe is an epidemiologist who fights disease pandemics with an unprecedented early warning system to forecast, pinpoint and control new plagues worldwide before they kill millions. He is the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University and the founder and CEO of Global Viral Forecasting (GVF), an independent research institute he founded in 2008. His survey of diseases that have historically had the greatest impact on humanity revealed that most started with animals. Based on this, he created a global network of sites in viral hotspots where people are highly exposed to animals and are most at risk for early infection when viruses leap from animals to humans.
GVF which coordinates over 100 scientists and staff globally spots viruses as soon as they surface by collecting and cataloguing blood samples, surveying wild animals, scanning urban blood banks and documenting the transfer and distribution on disease. Data gleaned from a dozen field sites in Cameroon, China, Malaysia and other countries have led to the discovery of a number of previously unknown infectious agents, notably simian foamy and t-lymphotropic viruses that emerged into humans from primate reservoirs.
Dr. Wolfe has received numerous awards including a Fulbright fellowship and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and was chosen as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011. Nathan has over 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 among others. He has received support totaling over $30m in grants and contracts from Google.org, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Department of Defense and others.