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'The Rise of the Killer Virus' at University of Pennsylvania

Event Date:

April 24, 2015 | 1:00 PM EDT
Media file: theriseofthekillervirus.jpg

A scientific detective story that crisscrosses the globe, tracing the origins of HIV and its lessons...


The Rise of the Killer Virus screens at the University of Pennsylvania on Friday, April 24. Following the screening, join the Pulitzer Center for a panel discussion with filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer and Dr. Beatrice Hahn, professor of medicine and microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, whose work is featured in the documentary. Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer moderates the conversation.

HIV is still the biggest viral killer worldwide with 36 million dead of AIDS and another 35 million living with the virus. What are the origins of HIV—where did it come from and why were its implications not recognized sooner? How did it become the worst pandemic of our times?

The Rise of the Killer Virus follows three scientists—from Belgium, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States—as they search for answers, across Africa and in the laboratories of Europe and the United States. The documentary delves into the origins of HIV and is associated with Gierstorfer's Pulitzer Center-supported reporting project "HIV's Origins-And the Lessons for Today," reflecting on the lessons we can learn from the pre-history of HIV, the relationship between humankind and the environment, and the persistent threat of infectious diseases—whether Ebola or the next epidemic.

RSVP requested: -- please reserve your seat today
Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, April 24, 2015
1:00 pm
University of Pennsylvania
Biomedical Research Building
14th Floor Lounge
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rise of the Killer Virus is produced by DOCDAYS Production, YUZU Productions, CONGOO, for Smithsonian Networks, ZDF/ARTE, CCTV 10, RTBF, and VRT with support from the Pulitzer Center.

Writer & Director: Carl Gierstorfer
Director of Photography: Renaat Lambeets
Editor & Art Director: Marcel Ozan Riedel
Executive Producer: Antje Boehmert
Concept and Programming: Felix Nelson


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