Before COVID, before the swine flu, there was the bird flu outbreak of the mid-2000s. An international group of scientists came together to combat the deadly virus, including Ilaria Capua, now director of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville. Little did she know that that experience would not be the most trying moment of her career.
In 2013, Capua was elected to national office in Italy, the only scientist to have been so. Her triumph would be short-lived, however, as she was charged in a criminal case in which plaintiffs accused her of being the mind behind illegal trafficking of viruses—of profiting off her profession. While the legal process dragged on, she was recruited by UF. A few weeks after moving to the United States, she was cleared of all charges.
In this episode of AGU’s podcast Third Pod from the Sun, AGU chatted with Capua about her work with viruses, overcoming a smear campaign, and the value of being surrounding by great peers and team members.
Published June 24th, 2021
The scientific community sometimes operates in closed parameters without sharing new findings for fear of lost revenues or notoriety. Find out how the actions of one scientist, Dr. Ilaria Capua, paved the way for better transparency in science and created lasting impacts that may have even helped speed up vaccine development for COVID-19. In addition, Dr. Capua discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic came about and what we can learn from this experience.
Published January 22nd, 2021
Dr. Ilaria Capua is one of the world’s most prominent virologists, and a Professor at the University of Florida and the Director of the One Health Center of Excellence. In this week’s podcast she updates us on the current state of COVID19 with some important philosophical approaches as to how we should think about the virus. In the second half we discuss her new book, Circular Health, a concept that focuses on the interconnectivity between human actions and outcomes.
Published June 20th, 2020
Dr. Ilaria Capua is an internationally recognized virologist, and a world expert in avian influenza and other animal viruses. Following her effort to make genetic information about viruses more accessible in the interest of finding faster cures, she was unknowingly put under investigation, as she was central in moving viral information and samples to colleagues worldwide. Wire taps and clandestine evidence gathering filled a file, that eventually would be discovered, leaked and maliciously reinterpreted, alleging that Dr. Capua was the mastermind of an international virus trafficking ring. She was accused in the media, without evidence, of providing viruses for others to spread so that she could profit from vaccines produced. These false allegations left her facing life in prison. Years later the charges were completely dismissed as manufactured claims by the media. However, the events were life changing. Today Dr. Capua has channeled her energies into broadening science education, and continuing her outstanding work as a virologist. In the second half of the podcast she provides her expert interpretation of the 2019 nCov Coronavirus outbreak, its origin, risks and concerns.
Published February 8th, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have designated Nov. 3 as “One Health Day”, an opportunity to reflect on the connections between human, animal and environmental health. Dr. Ilaria Capua, director of the University of Florida’s One Health Center of Excellence for Research and Training, will discuss why the One Health approach is so important for understanding how to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface. She’ll also discuss why she believes the arts also play a role in One Health, and how multidisciplinary and cultural approaches may help advance understanding of fundamental concepts that are key to advancing health awareness in all aspects of society
Dr. Ilaria Capua
Published November 2, 2018