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DAILY 05.08.12

DAILY 05.08.12

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Published by coo9486
Print edition of The Stanford Daily, published May 8, 2012.
Print edition of The Stanford Daily, published May 8, 2012.

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Stanford launches$1 billion medicalcampaign
President John Hennesseyannounced a $1 billion Cam-paign for Stanford Medicine onMonday. The campaign, whichis already halfway to its goalwith pledges and expectancies,will raise funds for a new hospi-tal and new programs aimed atchanging health care on a na-tional and global level.The new facility will sit onthe current hospital’s site inPalo Alto, but will be updated tomeet California seismic stan-dards. Programs in the new fa-cility will try to incorporate newtechnologies into health care toguide medicine into the future.Construction will begin on thesite in 2013.“Providing the most ad-vanced health care possible topeople — locally, nationallyand globally — will be one of the great challenges of this cen-tury,” Hennessy said in a pressrelease. “The Campaign forStanford Medicine draws uponour particular strengths — theproximity of the university to itshospitals and clinics — to focuson this issue and better servethe public. It will allow us toseek solutions to some of medi-cine’s most daunting problems,and it will begin in our owncommunity with the new Stan-ford Hospital.”Stanford announced in Feb-ruary 2011 that companies fromSilicon Valley, includingHewlett-Packard, Apple, eBay,Intel, Intuit and Oracle, woulddonate to a campaign called theStanford Hospital Corporate
Features/3 Opinions/4 Sports/5 Classifieds/6
Recycle Me
The 14th ASSU Undergradu-ate Senate will discuss the Alter-native Review Process (ARP)tonight at the senators’ first full-length meeting in office. The pro-gram, which piloted in 2010 andwas set for review and re-ap-proval this year, provides an al-ternative judicial procedure forcases of sexual harassment, sexu-al assault and relationship abuse.The ARP was developed andinitiated partially in response toOffice of Judicial Affairs (OJA)statistics that showed a dispro-portionately high rate of stu-dents who reported they hadbeen sexually assaulted at Stan-ford but did not have a hearing.From 1996 to 2009, there were104 reports of sexual assault, yetonly 3 of those cases went tohearing, according to OJA statis-tics. After the establishment of the ARP in April 2010, however,there have been 21 cases report-ed, 13 transferred to ARP and 12tried.
With the debate over ARP reaching a critical juncture for student legislators, The Daily has broken down each component that has changed since 2010 or is currently being discussed for pro-  posed changes.
Standard of proof 
Before the ARP was estab-lished, all campus judicial panels,including those reviewing casesinvolving sexual assault, issuedverdicts by a standard of beyonda reasonable doubt, the samestandard used in criminal trials.The original charter of the ARP,piloted in 2010, also operatedwith the beyond a reasonabledoubt burden.In April 2011, however, Presi-dent John Hennessy employedhis executive power to lower thestandard of proof to preponder-ance of evidence, which requiresthat reviewers find a student re-sponsible if they believe a stu-dent to be more likely to havecommitted the act than not. Pre-ponderance of evidence is thelowest existing burden in anytype of civil, judicial or criminalproceeding.Hennessy’s order respondedto the April 2011 Dear ColleagueLetter, issued by the Office forCivil Rights (OCR), which ar-gued that the Supreme Courtand the OCR use a preponder-ance of evidence standard whenevaluating cases of discrimina-tion and required Universities todo the same in cases involvingsexual assault.Although several parties havechallenged the claims of theDear Colleague Letter, Stanfordwould be in danger of being de-nied its Title IX funding had itnot adjusted the standard of proof.Currently, nearly every uni-versity, including Harvard,Princeton, Yale and Caltech, usesa preponderance of evidencestandard in cases involving sexu-al assault. However, the Founda-tion for Individual Rights in Ed-ucation (FIRE), a nonprofit or-ganization that opposes both thelogic and authority of the DearColleague Letter and directlyrecommended that the StanfordGraduate Student Council rejectthe lower standard of proof, re-ported that nine of the top 10 col-
Softball shuts out Washington inthree consecutive games
 An Independent Publication
 The Stanford Daily T
TUESDAY Volume 241
May 8, 2012Issue 55
New Senate to continueARP debate tonight
Frost Revival could show venue’s viability 
Officials announce planfor sustainable future
Stanford administrators an-nounced a new sustainability plan atMonday evening event focused most-ly on the University’s past successesin sustainability. Titled “Sustainability3.0,” the plan will guide Stanford’ssustainability efforts over the nextfive to 10 years.The full “Sustainability 3.0” planhas not yet been released, but PamelaMatson, dean of the School of EarthSciences, outlined some of the princi-ples behind the plan.“Stanford should be the leader insustainability in everything we do,and we need to lead by example,”Matson said, outlining the first goal of the plan.Other goals included establishingclear sustainability policies, bringingtogether the entire Stanford commu-nity, reaching beyond Stanford for aidand outreach and focusing on actionrather than just research.“We need to make sure that whatwe learn here through our amazingresearch efforts is actually being used
Zimbardo:Boys arestruggling
Philip Zimbardo, professoremeritus of psychology and theleader of the famous 1971 StanfordPrison Experiment, will release anew e-book this summer with hispersonal assistant and co-authorNikita Duncan. The book, “TheDemise of Guys: Why Boys AreStruggling and What We Can DoAbout It,” argues that young menare experiencing a decline in aca-demics, social interactions and con-centration because of changes inthe modern world.Zimbardo said the book specifi-cally cites “the time they invest inplaying video games and watchingfreely accessible Internet porn, inthe context of changing family dy-namics where there are too fewmale figures to nurture them” asdistractions.Zimbardo and Duncan’s eBookis a precursor to a print book, tenta-tively titled “Men 2.0: RebootingMasculinity After the Demise of Guys,” to be released next year.In an interview with The Daily,Zimbardo explained his thesis, theorigins of his theories and theremedies he perceives as necessaryto solve this “systemic problem.”“I became interested in theissue 25 years ago because of thisphenomenon I was observing oncampus where young men wereplaying video games to the extentthat they were giving up the real,face-to-face world for the virtualworld,” Zimbardo said.He cited his own son’s “videogame addiction” during his time atStanford, which led him to delveinto the matter more deeply.“The Demise of Guys” tacklesthe problem Zimbardo explains as“boys, worldwide, who are failing inlarge numbers.” Zimbardo shows
The May 19 Frost Revival show maydemonstrate that events at Frost Amphithe-ater are more financially and logistically vi-able. The amphitheater, which used to hostsuch acts as the Grateful Dead, has seen lessfrequent use over the last decade, largely be-cause of the high cost to operate the venue.Stanford Concert Network (SCN) leaders,however, hope that the revival show can makethis year a kickstarter for future events, ac-cording to Alberto Aroeste ’13, co-director of SCN.The concert will feature Modest Mouse,with opening acts Eyes Lips Eyes and Ben- jamin Francis Leftwich. SCN Co-directorStephen Trusheim ’13 said the Frost Revivalbroke even in under 24 hours.“We fundraised diligently and have beencoordinating the revival for months now be-cause our vision is to bring Frost Amphithe-ater to the forefront of people’s minds whenthey think of our school, both at Stanford andbeyond,” Aroeste wrote in an email to TheDaily.He added that the vision of the SCN is to
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Decision on Judicial Affairs changes passed down to new Senate and Graduate Student Council
 ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily
Prospective freshmen attended a concert in Frost Amphitheater during Admit Weekend. The Stanford Concert Network is hosting a Frost Revivalon May 19 and hopes to use the facility more in the future. Event ticket sales broke even in less than 24 hours, and tickets are still available.
ROGER CHEN/The Stanford Daily
Provost and Acting President John Etchemendy delivered concluding re-marks at a Monday event celebrating sustainability initiatives and introduc-ing the University’s plan for sustainability over the next five to 10 years.
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 Professor emeritus to release e-book “The Demise of Guys
Rendering by Rafael Viñoly Architects
The new Stanford Hospital complex will begin construction in 2013 andopen in 2018. The project has already raised $500 million from corporatepartners in Silicon Valley and individual donors.
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this failure in statistics: Males are 30 percent more like-ly to drop out or flunk out of school, girls outperformboys at all levels starting in elementary school and boysare much more likely to be taking a prescription drugfor concentration issues.The causes for such dramatic trends are threefold,Zimbardo argues. The first is increasing video gameplaying by young men.“The illusion of connectedness when a person isplaying a video game is no substitute for real interac-tion,” he said. “Those boys that invest hours uponhours in these pursuits are less able to socialize them-selves when it comes to real life.The second, he said, is the accessibility of pornogra-phy.“The incredible array of pornography that is availableto young men . . . [is] creating an addiction to arousal andhabituating young men to similarity,” Zimbardo said.“They are thus unable to perceive reality as it is and aremuch less prepared for significant and meaningful sexualrelationships.”Zimbardo believes these two factors in combina-tion lead to the problem many young men face in de-teriorating abilities to engage in social relationships.The third factor, he argued, is “changing family dynam-ics, where half of all young men now are growing upwithout a father.”“Guys are failing, the data shows this, and becauseof these factors they are unfit to learn, misfit for sexualrelationships, and they are left feeling awkward andstupid socially, which leads to a big negative feedbackloop, where these matters simply become worse,” Zim-bardo said.He warned that the problem is only going to getworse, and that it is not restricted to young Americanmen. The solutions to the issue are difficult but involveboth attacking those root causes and accommodatingfor the change in behavior. Zimbardo proposed thatfamilies monitor “time online and time with other in-dividuals, which will at least allow you to acknowledgethe problem.”Zimbardo considered suggesting mentors foryoung men to “set boundaries and give motivation”and argued for shifting away from a passive lecturemodel in schools, which he sees as detrimental foryoung men given their relative lack of concentrationabilities.He paired this with an acknowledgement that “girlsare on the rise.”“Last year, women got more of every single ad-vanced degree than men around the world, which isunheard of,” Zimbardo said. Duncan chimed in, sayingwomen are not facing similar issues because of theirtraditional social functions and the fact that they so-cialize in starkly different ways.Zimbardo concluded with the claim that “boys’brains are being digitally rewired for change, novelty,excitement and constant arousal — leaving them outof sync in romantic relationships and traditional class-es.”“I’m sounding the alarm, and it’s only going to getworse,” he said. “But if we start talking about it, we ac-knowledge the problem, and that we have to do some-thing about it.”
Contact Aaron Sekhri at asekhri@stanford.edu.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
 The Stanford Daily
Courtesy of Philip Zimbardo
Professor Emeritus of Psychology Philip Zimbardo,known for his role in the Stanford Prison Experiment,is releasing a new book on why young men are strug-gling socially and academically.
here,” Matson said.The plan was introduced at theconclusion of an event titled “Cele-brating Sustainability at Stanford,”which brought together the leadersof various sustainability efforts oncampus to speak about their initia-tives.“The number one global chal-lenge that we are going to be meas-ured by over the next century or twois going to be sustainability,” said TomSteyer, a Stanford trustee and thekeynote speaker at the celebration.Steyer emphasized that Stanfordneeds to lead in this area, especiallywith recent attention drawn to theUniversity.Referring to a recent article byKen Auletta in The New Yorker,Steyer said, “It’s impossible to readthe recent New Yorker article andnot think that people around thecountry are going to pay attentionnot just to our research, but to howwe actually address the problem.”Two panels convened to sharetheir sustainability work. The firstpresented sustainability research ini-tiatives, and the second presentedsustainability action initiatives.Buzz Thompson, director of theWoods Institute for the Environ-ment and a research panelist, notedthe success of the EnvironmentalVenture Projects program, whichawards seed grants to aid faculty re-search projects on sustainability.Thompson said that over 350 facultymembers have submitted proposalsfor the grants.Lynn Orr, director of the PrecourtInstitute for Energy, also sat on theresearch panel. Orr discussed solarcell research currently in process tocombine photovoltaic and solar ther-mal panels into double-efficiencysolar cells.The panel also noted increasingstudent interest in sustainability.Heather Bischel M.S. ’07 Ph.D. ’11, apanelist representing students, saidthat over the last five years, the numberof courses at Stanford that mentionsustainability in their course descrip-tion has increased from 27 to 71.One challenge addressed in the“Sustainability 3.0” plan was to com-pile these courses and make themmore apparent and accessible to in-terested students.On the sustainability actionpanel, speakers presented projectscurrently underway to address sus-tainability problems and apply re-search findings.Alex Luisi ’12, president of Stu-dents for a Sustainable Stanford(SSS), spoke about several of thegroup’s recent projects, includingcreating a smartphone application toreport water leaks around campus.Luisi also discussed how rewardingstudents had found their sustainabil-ity efforts with SSS.“If we gave them a chance to do itagain, they’d only do more,” he said.Luisi also introduced a short filmcalled Sustainable Trees made bySSS members Garrett Gunther ’11M.S. ’12, Dominique Yahyavi ’11M.S. ’12, Kris Cheng ’11 and AdamSelzer M.A.’12. The film depicts stu-dent sustainability efforts all overcampus.Brodie Hamilton, director of Parking and Transportation Servic-es, then showed how initiatives likethe Commute Club have helped re-duce both traffic on campus andemissions. Hamilton said the rate of Stanford employees driving alone towork dropped to 46 percent in 2011from 72 percent in 2002.Carbon dioxide emissions oncampus have dropped below 1990levels, according to Hamilton. Addi-tionally, the reduced traffic hashelped Stanford avoid constructionof 3,000 parking spaces.Jack Cleary, associate vice presi-dent of Land, Buildings and Real Es-tate, discussed the methods used byhis department to plan buildings. Ac-cording to Cleary, Land, Buildingsand Real Estate aims to make build-ings that exceed green building codeperformance by at least 30 percent.The final presenter on the re-search panel was Joe Stagner, exec-utive director of Sustainability andEnergy Management. Stagner dis-cussed the upcoming Stanford En-ergy System Innovations (SESI)project, which has the potential toreduce emissions from water man-agement by up to 50 percent andwater use by 18 percent.The idea behind the SESI projectis that Stanford currently has sepa-rate systems to heat and cool water.Once contracts expire over the nextthree years, the University will beginreplacing most of the water pipesand systems across campus to com-bine the heating and coolingprocesses.The sustainability celebrationended with Provost and Acting Pres-ident John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82summarizing Stanford sustainabilityinitiatives.“In our own operations, we’vedistinguished ourselves as one of thegreenest universities in the UnitedStates,” Etchemendy said. He againemphasized action in addition to justresearch, saying that other universi-ties use Stanford as a model “not be-cause we’ve set a goal, but becausewe’ve taken action” to achieve thegoal.Etchemendy also announced thecreation of a Provost’s Committeefor Sustainability.
Contact Matt Bettonville at mbet-tonville@stanford.edu.
Continued from front pageContinued from front page
Young males declining
expand its presence increasinglyeach year so that it can create asustainable model of using Frostfrom year to year.Elaine Enos, executive direc-tor of the Office of Special Eventsand Protocol, which works withFrost, said that breaking even canbe complicated for the venue.“With Frost at its current ‘pic-nic’ capacity for this event (a mixof standing and sitting on blan-kets) of 5,400, it helps to have up-wards of one-third to one-half ormore in attendance with ticketsreflecting general public pricing,”Enos wrote in an email to TheDaily.She added that it is not a one-size-fits-all process to hit a break-even point at Frost. “The idea is toget a band that people will pay tosee, especially at general publicprices, to help offset these expens-es as much as possible,” she wrote.Enos said that the processoften becomes complicated be-cause drawing artists of interest tostudents often costs more. Organ-izers have to weigh increased costagainst increased student interestwhen determining ticket pricesand projected sales.“It deals sometimes with hav-ing to ‘predict the future’ in somecases,” Enos wrote.Operating costs for Frost arenot inexpensive, according toEnos. The cost of a high-profileconcert with a very basic designthat includes no video or lights,and the most minimal structuraland staffing levels, runs fromabout $95,000 to $150,000, not in-cluding any artist fees.“Headliner bands of interestand high popularity run into thesix figures pretty easily now, plustravel expenses in many cases [canadd to the cost],” Enos wrote.Trusheim said that a headliningartist like Modest Mouse can costbetween $80,000 and $120,000 de-pending on how much they ask fortravel, food and other expenses.She added that these bandstend to need or want more struc-tural surroundings like lights orstage structures, which can poten-tially raise expenses.According to Enos, many stu-dents have expressed interested inseeing more events in Frost. Suchinterest has been expressed onmany levels throughout the un-dergraduate and graduate studentpopulation.“The members of the StanfordConcert Network and other inter-ested students have spent a lot of their personal time contributingand developing the look and feelthat you’ll see at this year’s FrostRevival,” she wrote.“We have not seen a concert of this size in nearly 10 years,” sheadded. “The last time there was aconcert of any size in Frost duringthe academic year with students asthe main audience was in 2006,and the attendance was extremelylow.”Mos Def was the headliner forthe 2006 show.Enos added that she expects tosee well over 4,000 in total atten-dance for this year’s show, with themajority being students.Enos wrote that Frost is not justused during Admit Weekend andNew Student Orientation. Thevenue is also used for the AnnualUniversity Diversity Spring Faire,the GSB Students Annual C4Cevent and several other dinnersand reception-style gatherings forvery large events that departmentsor schools may sponsor.“This year, Blackfest will beheld for the first time in the am-phitheater,” Enos wrote. “Theevent has been growing everyyear and is expecting even morestudents and general public thisyear, which creates a great oppor-tunity to utilize space.”She added that future eventsand other potential concerts arebeing reviewed and researched,but that it is important to be prag-matic about budgets.“It’s about making sure that aproposed event is right for Frost aswell,” she wrote, adding that someevents are better served withinsmaller venues.SCN is hopeful that it will beable to manage these costs togreatly expand Frost’s use in thefuture.“Frost Revival will be the oneevent that started it all, the onefestival that made it possible andpaved the way for future large-scale concerts at Stanford Univer-sity,” Aroeste wrote.
Contact Josee Smith at jsmith11@stanford.edu.
Continued from front page
leges, according to U.S. World andNews Report, did not use theOCR-mandated standard prior tothe OCR letter.All other judicial proceedings atStanford are still tried by a beyonda reasonable doubt standard.
Assumed innocence
When the ARP was altered in2011 to lower the standard of proof, the authors also removedthe right “to be considered inno-cent until found guilty.” The corre-sponding clause in the existingARP says that a responding stu-dent has a right “to have the Re-viewers determine responsibilityby a preponderance of the evi-dence standard of proof.”Dan Ashton ’14, a member of the 13th Undergraduate Senate,pointed out this absence and en-couraged his peers to amend theARP to include a presumed inno-cence protection similar to that inthe ASSU Constitution and Judi-cial Charter.
Size of review panels
Since its inception, the ARPhas decided its verdicts with fourmembers of the Stanford commu-nity three students and onefaulty member, distinguishing itfrom all other judicial proceed-ings, which have panels of six. TheOffice of Judicial Affairs said thatit altered the procedure in 2010 tobest protect the confidentialityand comfort of both parties, toalign with student feedback con-cerning the optimal student-to-faculty reviewer ratio and to meetmore practical concerns of ensur-ing that the appropriate numberof qualified students is available atthe time of a hearing.
Voting requirement
The existing ARP requires, andhas always required, a finding of responsibility from a simple ma- jority of reviewers to hold a stu-dent responsible, as does everyother type of judicial proceeding.Several opponents of the loos-er procedural protections afford-ed by the Dear Colleague Letter,including a few outgoing ASSUSenators and students in the Of-fice of Judicial Affairs, have advo-cated for increasing the voting re-quirement to unanimity so as tobetter guard against false verdicts.
Right to confront and cross-exam-ine witnesses
In all other types of judicialhearings, and in cases involvingsexual assault before the estab-lishment of the ARP, respondingstudents have and had the right“to cross-examine witnessesagainst them.” Within the ARP,however, responding students donot have the right to question im-pacted students, who often givethe most influential, if not only,witness testimony.Instead, responding studentscan make statements to both theinvestigator, who is responsiblefor compiling information aboutthe case, and the review panel,which makes the final decision.These statements may refute theallegations against the respondingstudent but cannot engage in theadversarial court process.According to the OJA, impact-ed students are not expected tospeak with the responding studentat any time during the trial processbecause of the intimate and trau-matizing nature of the alleged act.
Right to have witnesses heard
The pre-ARP process, and the judicial proceedings of all othertypes of cases at Stanford, guaran-teed students the right to “call wit-nesses on their behalf at JudicialPanel hearings.” Responding stu-dents within ARP are only giventhe right “to request that the In-vestigator contact individuals whoare witnesses to an event.” Thenew process gives the investigatordiscretion to not speak with indi-viduals proffered by the respond-ing student if they so choose.Tessa Ormenyi ’14, a studentreviewer for ARP and coordina-tor at the Women’s CommunityCenter, explained at the May 1Senate meeting that the OJA has,in the past, had responding stu-dents call numerous irrelevantwitnesses just to delay the trial.
Right to appeal & double jeop-ardy
Before the ARP was intro-duced, cases involving sexual as-sault had an appellate processsimilar to other judicial hearings:Students who felt they had beenwrongfully found responsiblecould bring their case to a FinalAppeals Panel for review.In its pilot form, the ARPchanged the process by allowing astudent found responsible to ap-peal the decision to the ViceProvost for Student Affairs, whoseverdict was final, instead of apanel of several members of theOJA.After operating this way for ayear, the ARP appellate processchanged again with the publica-tion of the Dear Colleague Letter,which requires that Universitiesshift their procedures to allow ap-peal from both sides when an un-favorable verdict is issued. Thiseliminates students’ right againstbeing tried twice for the same of-fense, known as double jeopardy.Shortly following the publica-tion of the Dear Colleague Letterin April 2011, President Hen-nessey amended the ARP charterto grant equal appeal power toboth the responding and impactedstudent.Of the 12 hearings in the pasttwo years, 10 responding studentswere found responsible, but onlyone verdict was reversed in ap-peal.A few former ASSU Senators,notably Alon Elhanan ’14, havevoiced opposition to the unilateraldiscretion of the Vice Provost inaffirming or overruling verdicts.
Statute of limitations
Until 2008, all impacted stu-dents, including complainants of sexual assault, were required tohave a charge filed no more thansix months after the alleged mis-conduct occurred. Any complaintfiled after the six-month statue of limitations could not be triedthrough the University judicialprocess without an extraordinarycircumstance.In January 2008, however, theOffice of Judicial Affairs extendedthe statute of limitations to twoyears for cases involving allegedsexual assault, dating/domestic vi-olence, sexual harassment, stalk-ing, hate crimes or physical as-sault. This statute applies to allcases that are heard under theARP.After a series of straw pollvotes, the 13th UndergraduateSenate declined to vote on theARP, leaving it to the 14th Senateto give approval or advocate forrevisions. Since the ARP repre-sents a change to the Office of Ju-dicial Affairs charter, which oper-ates under the ASSU Constitu-tion, it must receive approval fromboth the ASSU Senate and Grad-uate Student Council (GSC) be-fore it can be officially appendedto the charter. The Senate mayvote on the ARP tonight, or maypostpone the vote further.The pilot program of the ARPwas extended to the fall of next ac-ademic year, so it will continue tooperate pending an ASSU vote.
Contact Julia Enthoven at jjejje@stanford.edu.
Continued from front page
Partners Program. NVIDIA alsopledged to the program in April,bringing the total from the pro-gram to $175 million from corpo-rate partners.In addition, three individualfamilies each contributed $50 mil-lion to the hospital: Tashia andJohn Morgridge, Anne Bass M.A.’07 and Robert Bass MBA ’74, andthe Christopher Redlich ’72 fami-ly. Morgridge was formerly CEOof Cisco Systems. Robert Bass ispresident of Keystone Group LP,founder of the Oak Hill invest-ment funds and chairman of theAerion Corporation. Redlich wasformerly chair of Marine Termi-nals Corporation.The new hospital will be struc-tured as four patient care pavil-ions. The Redlich family and theMorgridges will each name one of the four pavilions.According to Stanford NewsService, new technologies beingput in place at the hospital includeadvanced imaging and “hybrid”treatment platforms equipped formany types of procedures.The new hospital will also ad-vance Stanford’s emergency serv-ice offerings, creating 59 treatmentbays for emergency patients.The 823,000-square-foot hospi-tal is scheduled to open in 2018.
 — Matt Bettonville
Continued from front page
 The Stanford Daily
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
igh above SutterStreet in downtownSan Francisco, ateam of Global ViralForecasting Initia-tive (GVFI) scientists is hard atwork studying how the next viralepidemic might be contained orprevented.From its sixth-floor office, thegroup has a clear view of thebustling city around them, a fittingreminder of the enormous scale of the work. Tribal artwork hangsfrom the walls in the office, direct-ly across from a world map dottedwith the organization’s differentfield sites around the globe.It is here that GVFI founderand CEO, Nathan Wolfe ’92, coor-dinates the organization’s multi-pronged approach to combattingepidemics. Wolfe, the Lorry I.Lokey visiting professor in humanbiology at Stanford, has received agreat deal of coverage in the mediafor his work in recent years. In2011, he was named one of TimeMagazine’s 100 most influentialpeople in an article that calledGVFI “the CIA of infectious dis-ease.” Wolfe published a book thatsame year, “The Viral Storm,” de-tailing his work in the context of the historical interaction betweenhumans and viruses.Wolfe left his tenured profes-sorship at UCLA in 2008 to foundGVFI and change the way scien-tists fight epidemics. In an increas-ingly globalized and interconnect-ed world, the possibilities for anepidemic to take hold are greaterthan ever before, but so are the re-sources available to stop one. Theproblem Wolfe and others witness,however, is that the current strate-gies are often more focused on re-sponding to pandemics than work-ing to avoid them in the first place.“Not too long ago, people saidthat the best way to stop a heart at-tack was to actually wait for theheart attack to occur, then do by-pass surgery,” Wolfe said. “About 10years ago, it became clear to a smallnumber of us [scientists] that whathad happened in individual medi-cine, where it had become very ob-vious that an ounce of preventionwas worth a pound of cure, alsomade sense on a population level.”As a boy, Wolfe was drawn intothe world of science by a particularfascination with some of humani-ty’s close relatives, the chimpanzeesand the gorillas. He rememberswatching a National Geographicdocumentary that detailed theclose genetic connection betweenhumans and apes. This portrayalclashed with his memories of goingto the zoo, where a clearly definedhierarchy separated humans andanimals, often by iron bars.“I remember the idea that byinterrogating nature and studyingit, you could fundamentallychange the way we saw the world,”Wolfe said, reflecting on the mem-ory. Wolfe’s fascination withapes continued into his adult life,leading him to conduct field re-search in Africa as a graduate stu-dent at Harvard. The experiencepaved the way for many years of work in the field and his futurepath in virology.During his time in the field,Wolfe would contract malariathree different times, the last of which nearly killed him. It is nothard to see why he is sometimesknown as “the Indiana Jones of virus hunters” among profession-als in his discipline.Through sometimes perilousfield research, Wolfe gleaned valu-able insights into some of the av-enues of transmission that virusescan take. In particular, Wolfe recog-nized the tremendous danger of viruses jumping from animals tohumans when local hunters pre-pared meat. Many of the virusesthat affect humans originate in ani-mals, and the interspecies leap israrely easier than during the closeand intimate contact of butchering.Though monitoring such activi-ty in rural parts of Africa is oftendifficult and costly, technologicalinnovations are allowing scientistslike Wolfe to track viruses in a waythey simply could not before.“Fifteen or 20 years ago, the bestwe could do was to be able to lookat viruses that were cultured in thelaboratory,” Wolfe said. “Now newsequencing technologies allow us tolook at the sum total of genetic di-versity in a particular specimen, sowe’re finding viruses that we other-wise would not [have].”Members of Wolfe’s team atGVFI put these technologies touse when investigating a recentvirus outbreak. They discovered apreviously unrecorded virus usingdeep sequencing techniques.Methods available even a year ortwo ago would have completelymissed the virus, due to its low con-centration in the samples studied.The group plans to publish thesefindings in the coming months.A critical part of fighting epi-demics is simply identifying a givenvirus, which can offer insights intohow quickly the virus will spread,how deadly it might be and whatresponse is appropriate in order tocontain it. For example, the humanimmunodeficiency virus (HIV),the virus responsible for acquiredimmunodeficiency syndrome(AIDS), went unidentified and un-treated for decades in human pop-ulations. Wolfe called this “a stun-ning failure in human health serv-ices.” In order to prevent this fromhappening again, GVFI has innov-atively used local hunters in Africato collect dried blood samples of their kills, which are later sent tolabs for analysis.In the years since Wolfe beganworking on preventing epidemics,a growing recognition hasemerged in governments and or-ganizations around the worldabout the need to adopt a moreproactive approach to combattingviruses, especially in places whereviruses are easily transmitted fromanimals to humans.“It’s exciting for me becausenow there are a number of youngorganizations that are starting todo this work, and it’s becomingmore of an ecosystem where folksare approaching different anglesabout how to address these prob-lems,” Wolfe said.Wolfe also noted the impor-tance of more traditional struc-tures like the World Health Organ-ization (WHO) and the Center forDisease Control (CDC), both of which GVFI regularly coordinateswith as part of the WHO GlobalOutbreak Alert and ResponseNetwork. But Wolfe believes theold model is rapidly disappearing.“Scientists in those [traditional]institutions recognize that theyhave a lot of limitations in terms of their mission, in terms of theirfunding and in terms of their abili-ty to move quickly,” Wolfe said. “Ithink it’s clear to all of us now thatthe world in five or 10 years isgoing to look a lot different than itdoes now in terms of the kinds of structures out there.Though GVFI now has staff working in six different Africanand Asian countries, Wolfe playsmore than just the role of adminis-trator as CEO. He still regularlygoes out into the field to conductresearch and is closely involved inthe collaborative analysis of theviruses. Wolfe also brainstorms di-rectly with many of GVFI’s localscientists in Africa, Asia and else-where around the world about thebest approaches to engaging withthe local populations.Under Wolfe’s guidance, GVFIhas expanded into a number of di-verse areas for tracking viruses.Wolfe’s background makes himwell suited for this kind of innova-tion, as he sees a parallel betweenhis undergraduate education inhuman biology (HumBio) at Stan-ford and the company’s interdisci-plinary and collaborative ap-proach to problem solving.“We work with computer scien-tists, a lot of virologists, a number of epidemiologists, and one of myteam members is a medical anthro-pologist,” Wolfe said. “The way mycareer has worked out is fundamen-tally ‘HumBio’ in a sense. It’s just,pick a problem and pick whateversorts of disciplines are necessary toeffectively address the problem.”Over the past couple of years,GVFI has also pursued the bur-geoning field of digital epidemiol-ogy. Tapping into the massiveamounts of data available throughthe Internet, digital epidemiologyallows scientists to forecast trendsin illness without ever leaving thelaboratory. For example, epidemi-ologists are exploiting the onlineavailability of over-the-counterdrug sales records to make short-term predictions about sickness,according to The Atlantic.On Wolfe’s team, StephanieNevins ’11, a GVFI intern andWolfe’s former student, is current-ly exploring data mining tech-niques for extracting informationfrom social networks to plot trendsin epidemics.During her senior spring atStanford, Nevins took Wolfe’sViral Lifestyles seminar. For theclass, she worked on a project thateventually turned into a formalbusiness plan to overhaul the waypatients interface with their med-ical provider, which attractedWolfe’s attention.“In his class, we really asked bigquestions about how we canchange the way we think aboutpublic health,” Nevins recalled. “Itwas so interesting to realize thatyou could study disease in popula-tions in high-risk places and actual-ly have the ability to stop them be-fore they spread.”Wolfe is also able to balancethis broader view with a sense of pragmatism in his teaching.“He is one of the most ap-proachable, thought-provokingprofessors I have interacted with atStanford,” said Kasey Kissick ’12,who also took the seminar. “Heteaches in a very practical manner,leaving students with a sense of guidance and direction, ratherthan just a collection of abstractconcepts and facts.Toward the end of “The ViralStorm,” Wolfe writes about the ne-cessity of establishing a 24-hour“situation room” as a commandand control center for preventingepidemics. The organization wouldemploy the innovative manage-ment of a Silicon Valley start-up todo a variety of tasks, such as sortingmassive amounts of data, main-taining regular contact with globalhealth leaders and using a series of field sites to monitor the situationon the ground.While Wolfe writes that no suchsituation room exists today, the of-fice above Sutter Street doesn’t ap-pear far from his vision.
Contact Stephen Cobbe at scobbe@ stanford.edu.
Courtesy of Tom Clynes
Nathan Wolfe, nicknamed by peers “the Indiana Jones of virus hunters,”is the founder and CEO of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI).

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