E33: Dan Werb: The Invisible Siege
We sat with Dr. Dan Werb to discuss his book on the history and rise of coronaviruses, The Invisible Siege. This is a fascinating book that covers decades worth of scientific discovery in the pursuit of uncovering the mechanics of these coronaviruses, and ways to prepare for future threats.
The book is divided into three parts, all covering the history and lessons learned from past encounters with these types of viruses. The SARS epidemic of 2003, the MERS epidemic of 2012 and the most recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic of 2019; outlining the building blocks for the technological and scientific achievements that made it possible to mitigate these viruses using testing, vaccines, and therapeutics.
The book stays true to the facts, and limits itself to the history of human ingenuity, and the pursuit to understanding the Coronaviridae, a family of RNA viruses from its more innocuous origins to the more pathogenic strains.
Dan Werb, PhD. is an epidemiologist and a policy analyst with expertise working in the fields of HIV, addictions, and drug policy. He’s also an assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UC Sandiego.