OCTOBER 5, 2020

Influenza: How it Transmits from Birds to Pigs

by  By Becca Wolf

Geese will soon fill the skies as they migrate south in V-formation as the weather gets colder and the leaves start changing color. For a month or so, migrating birds take over, crossing roads, sitting in parks and stopping to eat leftover seeds in farm fields or swim in ponds as they travel south for the winter.

What people may not realize is that some of these birds are carrying something harmful, yet invisible to the naked eye. That something is influenza A viruses that can transmit from birds to pigs and then to humans.

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JUNE 12, 2020

Flu researcher brings team together to tackle COVID-19

by  Janese Heavin (Computer Science, COVID-19, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Health / Medicine, Research

Professor Henry Wan has studied flu viruses for years, and he can assure you, coronavirus is not the same. It’s trickier. Less predictable And for many, deadlier.But there are insights scientists can glean from decades of research around the transmission of the flu. That’s why a team of Mizzou researchers is turning its collective attention to COVID-19.

The group recently received National Science Foundation RAPID funding to analyze how the Spanish Flu of 1918 impacted Missouri and determine how those transmission patterns might apply to today’s pandemic. Lisa Sattenspiel, chair of anthropology in MU’s College of Arts & Science, is the project’s principal investigator. Carolyn Orbann, an associate teaching professor of health science in the School of Health Professions, is a co-principal investigator.

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JUNE 11, 2020

The Show-Me Futures Podcast - Science and society

by  Office of Student Engagement at the University of Missouri

Virologist Dr. Henry Wan, anthropologist Dr. Lisa Sattenspiel, and historian Dr. Kristy Wilson-Bowers meet on this episode of the Show-Me Futures Podcast Series to discuss the research impacts of COVID-19 at the University of Missouri. Topics include the active COVID-19 research, pandemic modeling, and science communication. Podcast hosted by Miki Hodel and edited by Hope Davis.

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JUNE 9, 2020

Understanding how Spanish flu spread could help state prepare for next COVID-19 wave

by  Teresa Ann Cowden

For more than 40 years, Lisa Sattenspiel has been an anthropologist and infectious disease expert. Twenty-five years ago, she started studying the 1918 Spanish flu. Today, she is bringing a career’s worth of experience to helping understand how COVID-19 might play out in Missouri.

Sattenspiel, a professor and chair of MU’s Department of Anthropology, is the principal investigator of an interdisciplinary team looking at how and why the Spanish flu affected each Missouri county differently.

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APRIL 29, 2020

Influenza & COVID-19 Research: A Campus-wide Effort

by  Becca Wolf in Research

With shelter in place orders being extended throughout the country and events being canceled, COVID-19 is a pressing issue, and influenza researchers at MU have been pivoting recently to begin studying the virus.

Henry Wan, an influenza researcher and Bond LSC principal investigator, is planning on expanding his work to start looking at COVID-19 along with a team of epidemiologists, anthropologists, engineers, and more at MU. While influenza and COVID-19 are not the same virus, both are infectious respiratory illnesses transmitted through similar ways.

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FEBRUARY 02, 2020

Bringing in talent: New labs look for recruiting edge at annual event

by  Jerry Duggan

It was an entirely new process for Henry (XiuFeng) Wan as he spent part of last weekend wooing potential graduate students at the 11th annual Graduate Life Sciences Joint Recruitment Weekend at the Bond Life Sciences Center.

As a relatively new faculty member, Wan took his first stab at recruiting in a way he’s never had to before. Previously having worked for years at Mississippi State University, he has never had to actively recruit students for his lab before but sees it as an exciting challenge.

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JANUARY 24, 2020

#IAmScience Kaitlyn Waters

by  Mariah Cox

It’s common knowledge that all Ph.D. candidates must complete research in preparation for a dissertation, but what happens when one’s faculty mentor moves to a different school before completion?

Kaitlyn Waters found herself in that situation as she was preparing for the final year of her Ph.D. program. Waters, a current veterinary medical sciences Ph.D. candidate at Mississippi State University (MSU), is finishing her research in the Bond Life Sciences Center with primary investigator Henry Wan. Wan came to Mizzou last summer from MSU as a joint professor in the School of Medicine, the departments of Veterinary Pathobiology, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

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JANUARY 1, 2020

#IAmScience Karen Segovia

by  Mariah Cox

Karen Segovia wanted to work with animals the moment her childhood dog fell sick. With few veterinarians near the rural town in Perú where she grew up, she felt powerless to help, and that inspired her to eventually go to veterinary school.

But it was her preparation for her dissertation to meet the degree requirements at San Marcos National University veterinary school that refined Segovia’s focus on something smaller. Already interested in virology, her research narrowed in viruses and avian flu. A connection with a colleague led her to wild bird reservoirs to study samples for various avian viruses.

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AUGUST 22, 2019

#IAmScience Henry Wan

by  Mariah Cox

Every year we all tend to pay a visit to the doctor to get ahead of cold and flu season. Nothing could be worse than being in the midst of a hectic time at work or school and being out of commission. Many don’t think twice about the annual flu shot, it just becomes a part of their autumnal routine. But for Henry Wan, a new primary investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center, a significant portion of his life revolves around understanding how flu viruses get transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa as well as tracking down more effective influenza vaccination strains.

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