Saturday  February 25, 2017


The Global Problem of Emerging Infectious Disease

You are cordially invited to the ECWG dinner meeting and after dinner presentation by Steven Hatfill at the Cosmos Club on Saturday, 25 February 2017 at 6:00 PM.

There are an estimated one million viruses that science knows nothing about and one by one, obscure viruses are slipping from their hiding places in nature to threaten global populations. This process is termed “Emerging Infectious Disease”.  Ebola, SARS, MERS, Marburg, and the Zika virus– In each case, scientists have scrambled to identify the microorganism involved and to develop countermeasures to stop its spread. After each crisis, the assessment has been the same. Countermeasures were not ready in time to contain the outbreak early.

Join Dr. Steven Hatfill for an explanation of this problem, as well as an overview of the exciting possibility of predicting emerging viral disease outbreaks before they occur. Using the rainforest of the Kinabatangan Floodplain of Sabah as a natural laboratory, he will describe the preparations for establishing a long-term mobile “microbial observatory” to test the equipment and procedures thought necessary to detect an impending “cross-species jump” of select wild-type viruses into man.

The successful demonstration of a predictive “viral forecasting” ability would be the first step for establishing an eventual “proactive” global viral surveillance system. In the face of poorly-responsive worldwide countermeasures, such a system would benefit millions of the poorest people on the planet, as well as significantly enhance the biological security of the more developed nations.

Menu:  Roasted Mushroom Soup, Almond Milk  /  Roasted Milk-Fed Veal Loin, Cauliflower Puree, Swiss Chard, Pearl Onions, Natural Veal Jus  /  Apple Tartin

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Title:  The Global Problem of Emerging Infectious Disease

by   Steven Hatfill

Saturday, 25 February, 2017

Please reserve                  places for:


Guest name(s)                       

Number of vegetarian  meals (if any)  desired           

Organization  Affiliation  if other  than ECWG             

Number of dinners @ $55 each        

Enclosed is a check for $_______      Make check payable to ECWG

Online payment ($57) also available at:

No cancellations will be accepted after Tuesday evening, 21 February, 2017


Checks Payable to:  ‘Explorers Club Washington Group”

Send Payment to: Michael Wyrick at:  260 South Reynolds Street, 408

Alexandria, VA 22304, Email:  <>

Mobile Phone: 202-999-2005

About our Speaker, Steven Hatfill, FN12

Dr. Steven Hatfill, FN’12, is a physician and virologist who has been involved in tropical and remote area medicine continuously for 18 years in Africa ranging from the Katanga Province in the DRC (Zaire) to Cape Town, South Africa.  He holds separate Master’s degrees in Microbiology, and Biochemistry, with an M.Med in Hematology Pathology from South Africa.

His past Fellowships include the NIH/NASA Laboratory for Three-Dimensional Tissue Culture, Oxford University at the Nuffield Department of Pathology, and the National Research Council where he studied the Ebola and Marburg viruses in the BSL-4 laboratories of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

For the last decade Dr. Hatfill has served as a contractor working on a number of specialized projects in military medicine, while serving as an adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine and the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

He is the author of 18 peer-reviewed scientific papers, several textbook chapters, and numerous abstracts in the diverse fields of leukemia research, military medicine and infectious disease. During the 2014-15 West Africa outbreak, he trained the first Ebola Rapid Response Team for the Kenya Government’s National Disaster Medical Response Unit.

His expedition history includes serving as team physician for the 27th winter-over South African National Antarctic Expedition, and experimental work on insect control in both the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico.

To train other biomedical scientists in tropical field research, Dr. Hatfill maintains a Jungle School in central Puerto Rico where he is planning a major expedition to the former British colony of North Borneo (Sabah).

ECWG website: <>



Past Dinners



Saturday  January 28, 2017

Exploring Central Pacific Islands Atolls and Seamounts:  Science in Paradise

Craig Cook MN’01 and Camrin Braun FE’12 with Flag 118 immediately after surfacing from their Carondelet seamount dive. Their team was the first to ever dive this mid pacific ocean seamount.

Craig Cook FN’01 and Camrin Braun FE’12 with Flag 118 immediately after surfacing from their Carondelet seamount dive. Their team was the first to ever dive this mid pacific ocean seamount.

The central Pacific islands have become ground zero for coral bleaching and climate change research.  These Islands encompass some of the the most remote and pristine coral reefs in the world and have caught the attention of coral reef researchers for their response to global warming and subsequent decline.  Recently one of the largest scientific expeditions ever assembled involving over fifteen scientists spent four weeks exploring and surveying six island atolls and one undersea seamount.

Join Craig Cook FN’01 for a fascinating account of this epic expedition as one of the team members.  These scientific teams from such institutions as Scripps and Wood Hole spent over 1000 hours underwater looking at coral reef health, collecting specimens and investigating the impact of the strongest El Nino to date.  In addition, over 200 sharks where captured, had their blood drawn, DNA analyzed and tagged before being released in the most comprehensive study done to date.

Finally, the expedition culminated in the first ever underwater exploration by divers of one of the most remote undersea seamounts in the Pacific – Carondelet Reef.  This seamount was previously considered to be too dangerous to be explored by divers due to the extreme sea conditions.  Due to perseverance and luck the expedition made history by finally beating the conditions and were able to dive and explore the top of the seamount.

About Our Speaker

Craig Cook, FN 01

 Dr. Craig Cook, FN’01 is a physician who has been involved in undersea exploration and undersea medicine for over forty years. His expedition history includes serving as the Diving Medical Officer (DMO) and member of the science team on12 large scientific diving expeditions of which half were flag expeditions to some of the most remote locations in the world ranging from the Pacific to the Antarctic.

He has been an active diver for almost 50 years and is a diving instructor for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) with technical diving certification in both closed and semi-closed oxygen rebreathers. Dr. Cook is a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor with multiple certifications in diving accident management.  He has a particular interest in the mechanisms of decompression sickness and its treatment in remote locations.

In addition he has been a DAN referral physician for more than 15 years. His certifications also include that of a NOAA diving medical officer. Cook is a contributing author for the medical textbook Wilderness and Expedition Medicine to which he contributed chapters on dive medicine and hazardous marine life.  He served as Medical Editor for Sport Diver Magazine for more than fifteen years.

He has also been the Diving Medical Officer (DMO) on many scientific expeditions involving academic institutions including the New England Aquarium, Woods Hole and Scripts Oceanographic Institutes, KAUST, UCSD, University of Hawaii and others.  He is currently the Senior Medical Advisor for Conservation International.

He has been involved with NOAA on several expeditions as the DMO including the NOAA/US Navy 2003 Monitor Expedition during which the turret was raised. Dr. Cook has also served as a consultant to NOAA for search and rescue procedures in diving operations and is one of the contributing authors to the NOAA Diving Manual. In 2007 Dr. Cook initiated and worked with NOAA, the Department of State and the German Embassy for the protection and preservation of the recently discovered wreck of the U701 which was successfully instituted that year as a result of those efforts.

He is an award-winning underwater photographer whose photographs have been published in multiple magazines, books and calendars.  Besides, diving Dr. Cook I has been a competitive cyclist and triathlete and has competed in (and finished) the Hawaiian Ironman World Championship.  He resides with his wife Evelyn, who is also a diver and cyclist, in Severna Park, Maryland.

Craig is the immediate-past president of the Explorers Club Washington Group.

The social hour will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the dinner at 7 p.m. and then Dr. Cook’s talk.

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