Recently I paid a visit to a place where the world’s most mysterious viruses go to find a name. The result was my profile of Ian Lipkin of Columbia University for tomorrow’s New York Times. I first started thinking about this story when I heard Lipkin give a lecture about his work identifying unknown viruses this spring. And when I read this review of Lipkin’s, entitled simply, “Microbe Hunting,” I knew it was time to get cracking.
One thing I didn’t have room for is the fact that Lipkin has gone all Hollywood. By which I mean that he’s helping Steven Soderbergh on a new movie on a virus outbreak called Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and other big stars. Lipkin seems pretty stoked about the movie, which is slated for 2011, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it.