HIV emerged in humans around 1900 in what was then the Belgian Congo. Researchers first described mpox (MPV), often referred to as monkeypox, in humans in 1970 in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both of these viruses emerged in a global and local political context that cannot be removed from their biomedical history. The first half of this talk details this history and considers the causes of these catastrophes to better understand how to prevent them. This work uses molecular epidemiology and a historical analysis including oral histories, co-authored with a Congolese human rights lawyer, Ngofeen Mputubwele. In the second half of this UCLA Luskin Lecture, Osmundson will detail his work with New York City to provide MPV vaccines on site at commercial sex venues. The causes of epidemics are global, and their solutions local; however, MPV vaccines are still not globally available, restricting global communities’ ability to protect themselves.
Joseph Osmundson is a scientist, writer, and activist. He has a PhD in Molecular Biophysics from The Rockefeller University, where he studied bacteriophage viruses, was an American Cancer Society postdoc in bioinformatics at NYU, and is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology at NYU. His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere, and his book VIROLOGY came out in June. As a science advocate, he’s worked on equitable access to biomedicine and research to fill gaps in knowledge, particularly that affect the pre-existing viral underclass.
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Public transportation: Big Blue Bus (Routes 2 and 17), Culver CityBus (Line 6), Metro
Ridehailing locations: Gateway Plaza, Luskin Conference Center
On-site parking available for $14 (Lot 2, Lot 8)