Discovery Day Speaker to Focus on Zika Virus and the CDC | Benedictine College

Discovery Speaker to Focus on Zika Virus and the CDC

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017

CDC headquartersBenedictine College’s annual Discovery Day, set for April 5, will feature a presentation by Dr. Robert S. Lanciotti, a microbiologist and chief of the Diagnostic Laboratory within the Arbovirus Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. His presentation, “The Zika Virus Epidemic: An Inside Look at How the CDC Responds to Global Virus Epidemics,” is set for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, in O'Malley-McAllister Auditorium on the Atchison campus. It is free and open to the public.

Lanciotti’s research with the Arbovirus Diseases Branch is focused on insect-borne viruses (arboviruses); specifically the development of new and rapid diagnostic tests, as well as studying the biology, history and evolution of these diverse viruses. Over the past 28 years, Lanciotti and his laboratory were responsible for the identification and characterization of several emerging arboviruses, including West Nile virus in New York (1999), Chikungunya virus in the Western Hemisphere (2014) and the recent Zika virus. His laboratory has also been responsible for the discovery of several new arboviruses, most recently Bourbon virus in Kansas. He has written/cowritten 98 scientific manuscripts and has authored six textbook chapters on diagnostic technology of the arboviruses.

He has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 32 years and together they have four children; among whom are two Benedictine students; Elizabeth (graduated 2011) and Maria (class of 2018).  Since 2013, Lanciotti has also been in formation for the Permanent Diaconate, and hopes to be ordained into Holy Orders as a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver in June 2017.

Discovery Day encourages students to reflect on life’s great questions and to develop their abilities to find solutions to the problems facing the world. Each year the event allows students to create and present original projects that have been researched outside of the classroom. All presentations during Discovery Day are free and open to the public.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.