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Thursday 10 November 2016 12:12pm

Professor Robert Webster toured New Zealand giving academic and public lectures at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin during September and October 2016.

Robert Webster is a world-renowned virologist and leading influenza expert. His team identified the avian strain of influenza known as H5N1, the causative agent of avian influenza or “bird flu” that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997. The main focus of his research is the reservoir of influenza viruses in wild birds, their role in the evolution of new human pandemic strains and the development of a universal vaccine.  Born in Balclutha, Professor Webster studied microbiology at the University of Otago leading to a job with the New Zealand Department of Agriculture as a virologist. After receiving his PhD he moved to the USA where he established one of the world's leading centres of influenza research at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Listen to Professor Webster's public lecture held at Dunedin "What New Zealanders need to know about bird flu:  from the mutton bird to a cure for influenza".

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