Zika Virus: What, Why, and When?


This event will feature a panel of speakers who will discuss the Zika virus.

After its first discovery in Africa in 1947, Zika seemed like a very localized infection. However, over the last couple of decades Zika has spread around the globe, and been found to cause serious developmental defects in fetuses. Zika can be transmitted by particular types of mosquitos, which are present in the San Diego region, and by sex. However, so far we haven’t seen transmission of Zika in our region. The panel will discuss what Zika is, why we are so concerned about Zika, what we are doing to prevent Zika in humans, and whether Zika is a likely threat to people in the San Diego region.


Stanley Maloy

Stanley Maloy, PhD, Professor, Dean – College of Sciences, Associate Director – Center for Microbial Sciences, San Diego State University

Bio: Stanley Maloy is Dean of the College of Sciences at San Diego State University.

He obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Irvine, did a postdoctoral fellowship in Genetics at the University of Utah, then moved to a faculty position at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where he was a Professor of Microbiology for 18 years. He subsequently served as Director of the University of Illinois Biotechnology Center prior to moving to San Diego State University.

He is the author of over 100 scientific publications and 10 books. He has developed educational websites that are used throughout the world, and hosted popular scientific podcasts and videocasts. He has organized numerous international courses and conferences in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He has received several teaching awards, Honorary Professorships, an Honorary PhD, and is an elected member of the American Academy for Microbiology.


Roland Bio PicRoland Wolkowicz, PhD, Director – Flow Cytometry Core Facility, San Diego State University

Bio: Roland Wolkowicz, Ph.D., is a Biology Professor at San Diego State University (SDSU). He received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Masters in Microbiology at the University of Tel Aviv, Israel. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, where he worked on the DNA-binding activity of p53. During his postdoctoral research and research associate position at Stanford University he studied novel ways to block HIV-1 infection utilizing retroviral peptide libraries. In his laboratory at SDSU he studies viral-host interactions with the ultimate goal of blocking infection, with a focus on HIV-1 and Flaviviridae members such as HCV Dengue and Zika virus. He develops cell-based assays for the monitoring of viral processes and discovery of antivirals. He also serves as Director of the flow cytometry facility at SDSU.

Sujan Shresta
Sujan Shresta, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Infectious Disease, Division of Inflammation Biology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Bio: Dr. Sujan Shresta obtained her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Smith College and Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed her post-doctoral training in Virology at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005, she joined the La Jolla Institute as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Inflammation Biology and in 2011, was promoted to Associate Professor. Her research focuses on the immunology and pathogenesis of emerging viruses such as dengue and Zika. Earlier this year, Dr. Shresta was named to the first ever Rodale 100 list, which honors innovative people and ideas that make the world a better place.

nikos_biopicNikos Gurfield, PhD, DVM, DACVP, County Veterinarian, Head of the Vector Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory (VDDL), San Diego County Vector Control Program, Department of Environmental Health

Nikos Gurfield, DVM, DACVP is the County Veterinarian and head of the Vector Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory (VDDL) and public Outreach group in the San Diego County Vector Control Program, Department of Environmental Health. He works to protect public health by detecting vector-borne diseases in San Diego County as well as by planning for emergencies and disasters. Dr. Gurfield received his bachelor of science in microbiology from UCLA and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from UC Davis. After practicing veterinary medicine for several years on large and small animals, he returned to school to complete a residency and board certification in veterinary anatomic pathology at North Carolina State University. Recently, he completed his PhD in Biology in a joint doctoral program between SDSU and UCSD under the guidance of Prof. Scott Kelley. He has published manuscripts on cat scratch disease as well as other zoonotic diseases and has presented his work nationally and internationally. He is currently studying the microbiome of ticks and working to protect San Diegans from mosquito-borne diseases like Zika virus.

Date & Time

Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 5-7 PM


Eventbrite - Zika Virus: What, Why, and When?