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Based at Columbia University in New York, Lipkin is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and the Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health. The Center is a hub of collaborative, international research dedicated to the discovery, surveillance, and study of new pathogens that emerge across the globe. Lipkin and his team of investigators continue to pioneer cutting- edge tools and techniques to accelerate the discovery of new pathogens and enable rapid, regional responses to outbreaks.
In 1989, Lipkin identified the Borna virus using purely molecular tools, thus pioneering the practice of using molecular methods for pathogen discovery and surveillance. In 1999, he led the team that identified West Nile virus as the cause of an encephalitis outbreak in New York State. In 2003, Lipkin developed a rapid diagnostic test for SARS. At the height of the outbreak, he hand-carried 10,000 test kits to Beijing to identify and thereby help contain infections, at the request of the Chinese government.
During “Microbe Hunting in the 21st Century,” Lipkin will discuss state-of-the-art diagnostic and surveillance techniques that he and his colleagues use to rapidly assess and respond to new pathogenic microbes so that disease outbreaks may be mitigated and potentially averted. He will shed light on new methods of studying microbial pathogenesis and routes to proving causation, as well as how this methodology can be applied to investigate clinical problems.