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Sanger Series: Going Viral, featuring Jeffery Taubenberger

Text Reads: Going Viral. Contains a photo of a 1918 Red Cross Nurse with a respirator on and bloodshot eyes.



Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences Building, Auditorium
1217 E. Marshall St., Richmond, Va. 23220


In 2018, the centennial of the 1918 influenza pandemic, the Sanger Series lectures explore the deadly pandemic, the valiant search for the virus that caused it and the ways it changed medicine and our world.

First in the series is a lecture by pioneering virologist Jeffery Taubenberger, "On the Centenary of the 1918 Flu: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future." Taubenberger, now chief of the Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has conducted intensive studies of influenza A, among other viruses, and aims to inform public health strategies in order to prevent or contain outbreaks and prevent loss of life.

The series is free and open to all, but please register. Parking is available for a fee in the 8th Street parking deck. For special accommodations, or to register offline, please contact Thelma Mack, Reasearch and Education Coordinator, at (804) 828-0017 or at least two days prior to the event.

Schedule and Registration

5 p.m.
Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences Building
1217 E. Marshall St.
Jeffery Taubenberger
"On the Centenary of the 1918 Flu: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future."

Pioneering virologist and alumnus Taubenberger was the first scientist to sequence the genome of the influenza virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic. That scientific journey took him from the lab to the permafrost of Alaska. Today, as chief of the Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, he and his laboratory study a number of viruses, including influenza A viruses, which are the pathogens that cause yearly flu epidemics and have caused periodic pandemics, such as the 1968 outbreak that killed an estimated one million people. His research aims to inform public health strategies on several important aspects of flu: seasonal flu; avian flu, which circulates among birds and has infected humans in the past; swine flu, which circulates among pigs and has infected humans in the past; and pandemic flu, which can arise from numerous sources and spread quickly because humans have little to no immunity to it.
Oct. 17
James Branch Cabell Library
Lecture Hall
901 Park Ave.
Registration opens soon.
Gina Kolata
Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It

The 1918 flu epidemic puts every other epidemic of this century to shame. It was a plague so deadly that if a similar virus were to strike today, it would kill more people in a single year than heart disease, cancer, strokes, chronic pulmonary disease, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease combined. The epidemic affected the course of history and was a terrifying presence at the end of World War I, killing more Americans in a single year than died in battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

About the Speakers

Jeffery Taubenberger received a B.S. in biology from George Mason University in 1982. He earned his medical degree in 1986 and his Ph.D. in 1987, from the Medical College of Virginia. He completed a residency in pathology at the National Cancer Institute and holds dual board certifications in anatomic pathology and in molecular genetic pathology from the American Board of Pathology and the American Board of Medical Genetics. Prior to coming to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 2006, he served as chair of the Department of Molecular Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. His research interests include influenza virus biology, evolution, pathophysiology and surveillance. He also has clinical interests in the development and implementation of molecular diagnostic assays for neoplasia and infectious diseases.

Gina Kolata is a reporter at The New York Times, focused on science and medicine. Her training is in science. She studied molecular biology on the graduate level at M.I.T. and has a master's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland. Her work at the Times has led her to be a Pulitzer finalist twice—for investigative reporting in 2000 and for explanatory journalism in 2010. Before joining the Times in 1987, she was a copyeditor at Science magazine and she also wrote for the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal, 1974–87. She is the author of seven books on health and medical topics, the most recent of which is Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Saved Them.


VCU Libraries and the VCU Office of Research and Innovation present this Sanger Series lecture.

Image: Portrait of Jeffery Taubenberger, Red Cross nurse from a 1918 poster about avoiding the flu courtesy of U.S. National Library of Medicine. Poster Design by Jeff Bland.


VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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