‘What IF the next pandemic is inevitable?’

Will certain strains of the flu become resistant to drugs? Is there a pandemic on the horizon? Could understanding the 1918 influenza pandemic aid in preventing future pandemics?

Gina KolataGina Kolata, author of “Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918,”will speak at Purdue University on “What IF the Next Pandemic is Inevitable?” The discussion will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sept. 23, at Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. Kolata will discuss how researching the 1918 influenza outbreak could give insight on the next potential pandemic. A Q&A session will be included in the discussion.

The event is part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign, which is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. One of the Ideas Festival’s themes is “Health, Longevity and Quality of Life.” Purdue’s celebration concludes at October’s Homecoming with an astronaut reunion.

A panel discussion “The current and future role of vaccination in global health” will follow the talk from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Lynn Hall, Room 1136, featuring Kolata and the following:

* Pamela M. Aaltonen, professor emeritus from School of Nursing

* Marifran Mattson, professor and head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication

* Suresh Mittal, distinguished professor of virology from the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Comparative Pathobiology

* Ekramy Sayedahmed, post-doctoral research associate in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Comparative Pathobiology

A public reception will follow the panel in the Lynn Hall Continuum Café.

The event is sponsored by the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Public Health Program, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and IU School of Medicine-West Lafayette.

Kolata is a two time Pulitzer prize winner for her work at The New York Times. She works as a science and medicine reporter, and is the author of six books. Kolata is a graduate of the molecular biology program at M.I.T. and received her master’s in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland.

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