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Sanger Series: On the Centenary of the 1918 Flu: Remembering the Past and Planning for the Future by Jeffery Taubenberger


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.

Pioneering virologist and alumnus Jeffery Taubenberger, Ph.D., considers lessons that can be learned from the 1918 influenz pandemic. He 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.

The event 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 the VCU Libraries Events Office at (804) 828-0593.

About the Speaker

Jeffery Taubenberger, Ph.D., 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.


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

Image: Jeffery Taubenberger photo, courtesy 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