Dr. Nathan Wolfe2012 Distinguished Explorer Announced.

Dr. Nathan Wolfe, the world’s foremost hunter of dangerous microbes has been selected  to receive the 2012 Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award.

Microbes – tiny viruses and germs – are everywhere. But the truly harmful ones, like those that cause AIDS and bird flu, can be difficult to find. New viruses that cause disease outbreaks can emerge almost anywhere in the world. That’s why Dr. Wolfe has set up research and monitoring programs in 23 countries, collected more than 100,000 specimens, and identified numerous previously unknown microbes

Dr. Nathan Wolfe, is the founder and CEO of Global Viral Forecasting, founded with the goal of developing an early warning system for pandemics to monitor the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans.


Distinguished Explorer Award Presentation

  • Friday, February 3, 2012
  • 4:30 p.m.
  • Eaton Chapel, Beloit College
  • FREE!  (bring the kids!)

Acceptance lecture

“Before it Strikes: Viral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention”

The program is free and open to the public.

School Program:

10:30 a.m.
Beloit Memorial High School

Dr. Nathan Wolfe

Go after the dark matter in whatever field you choose to explore.
There are unknowns all around us. And they’re just waiting to be discovered.

More about Dr. Nathan Wolfe

Dr. Wolfe 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.

The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe

In his new book, The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age, Dr. Wolfe draws on firsthand knowledge from over a decade of virus hunting.

Viruses may emerge from far-flung places, but Dr. Wolfe also shows that modern transportation networks help microbes spread faster than ever.

There is hope, though: Dr. Wolfe envisions predicting and preventing future outbreaks by combining technology with boots-on-the-ground natural science, aiming to catch viruses before they become world travelers.

For that reason, Dr. Wolfe says The Viral Storm is written for anyone who “kisses their children goodbye on their way off to school.

Global Viral Website