Nathan Wolfe has been awarded the NIH Director''''s Pioneer Award to establish the first global network to monitor for the transmission of new viruses – including pandemic disease threats such as Ebola, SARS, and Nipah virus – from animals into human populations. With surveillance systems among people regularly exposed to wildlife, such as subsistence hunters in Africa and wet market workers in Asia, Dr.Wolfe and his colleagues are discovering previously unknown viral threats to humanity and identifying the factors that influence how new viruses emerge. This surveillance network is a critical step toward identifying ways to control potentially catastrophic pathogens before they become pandemics.
Dr. Wolfe is working with professionals from the CDC, UCLA, and among others to set up the surveillance network. Eventually the network will extend into areas of South America, Southesat Asia, and China.