The Viral Storm
The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age
A captivating speaker on the COVID-19 pandemic, Nathan Wolfe holds a peerless understanding of how pandemics start, spread, grow, and are contained. This current public health threat is disrupting industries, the economy, daily life, entire countries. A clear understanding of what the COVID-19 virus is, and what comes next, is vital. In urgent talks, Wolfe provides that understanding. Dubbed “the Indiana Jones of virus hunting,” Wolfe is the founder of Metabiota, the risk analytics company that improves the world’s resilience to epidemics. The author of the bestselling book The Viral Storm, he was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for his work tracking pandemics. Wolfe explores, as only he can, the short and long term impacts of the most important topic in the world today.
Scientist and “virus hunter” Nathan Wolfe rethinks pandemic control for our globalized world. Currently, his focus is on the roiling social, medical, and economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By concentrating on how epidemic diseases—such as HIV, SARS, West Nile—all stem from human contact with infected animals, he discovers new threatening viruses where they first emerge, and has become a much-sought-after speaker on epidemics. Wolfe has written and been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, The New York Times and The Economist, among others. He tackles the enormous risks, questions, and challenges we face as we learn how to stop the next new virus.
Nathan Wolfe holds the Lorry I. Lokey Business Wire Consulting Professorship in Human Biology at Stanford University. He received his doctorate in Immunology & Infectious Diseases from Harvard and is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, as well as the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. He has been named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He has also spoken at TED. Wolfe has published over 90 technical articles and book chapters, and his work has been published in and covered by Nature, Science, Scientific American, The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The New Yorker (which profiled him), National Geographic Magazine, Forbes, and Wired, which wrote that “Wolfe’s brand of globe-trotting echoes an almost Victorian scientific ethic, an expedition to catalog the unseen menagerie of the world.” Wolfe has over eight years of experience living and conducting biomedical research in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His endeavors have attracted grant, contract and investment support totaling over $100 million. His debut book, The Viral Storm, is an “engrossing and fast-paced chronicle of medical exploration and discovery” (Publisher’s Weekly) that many in 2020 view as prescient.
“Dr. Wolfe’s two public lectures were terrific: engaging, entertaining, informative, and about pitch perfect for the audience. He truly is that rare combination of outstanding scientist and excellent public speaker. And, on a personal note, I was privileged to spend a lot of time with Nathan over the past two days, and he is fun and personable and smart and interested and just great to be around. I found it a great pleasure to get to know him a bit.”Angelo State University
Whether it’s about cutting off epidemics at the pass, or assessing a company’s insurance needs, Nathan Wolfe has faith in his ability to both see threat and manage the risk involved in any ambitiously-scaled project. Based on his years of risk analysis, Wolfe founded the company Metabiota, which revolutionizes the way companies with huge stakes in the game can prepare themselves for risk transference. In this fascinating and timely talk, Wolfe instructs audiences in the importance of risk transfer for the future of civilization. Increasingly, data, technology, and AI are underwriting the way we perceive catastrophe, natural disasters, and epidemics. As Wolfe shows, the threats faced are substantive—from climate change to cyber-attacks. You will learn how the technical revolution and all the benefits of that can be addressed when it comes to assessing risks—to yourself and the planet. Brilliant, bracing, and of-the-moment, Wolfe will provide you with the knowledge and tools that can help you be more resilient in the face of risk—and thrive as you take it on.
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 then try 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, Wolfe discusses how novel viruses enter into the human population from animals and go on to become pandemics. He then explains attempts by his 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, Wolfe is working to move viral forecasting from a theoretical possibility to a reality.