Stephan Becker, PhD
Professor at the Institute for Virology, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany. The German scientists have been visiting villages to test sick people for the virus as part of the European Mobile Laboratory Project. Dr. Becker’s team and colleagues have been in West Africa for months to help in the fight against Ebola. Dr. Becker’s laboratory research is focused on understanding how the Ebola virus replicates, assembles in infected cells, and causes severe, often fatal, bleeding and hemorrhagic fever in humans. His work takes place under with the highest laboratory precautions (biosafety level 4).
Thomas W Geisbert, PhD
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston.UTMB is the only U.S. academic university to have a fully-operational BioSafety Level 4 laboratory. The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded Dr. Geisbert’s lab funds as part of a five-year, $26 million grant to develop promising treatments for Ebola. The Geisbert lab focuses on three areas: a man-made antibody treatment; a promising Canadian drug from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals shown to protect monkeys from Ebola; and a vaccine that can be used both to prevent infection and also treat it.
Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D
Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium. She is a Professor of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Her research explores structural biology, virology, immunology, and on-the-ground fieldwork to understand and defeat viral pathogens, revealing the molecular basis of viral pathogenesis and providing clear roadmaps for design vaccines and antivirals to defend against them.
Alan Schmaljohn, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In early stages of Ebola vaccine development. He lead the Viral Pathogenesis and Immunology Branch with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Dr. Schmaljohn helped to identify one of the key antibodies used currently in combination with two other antibodies to treat patients infected with Ebola. More broadly, his career has centered on questions of how antibodies protect against viral infections, and how to induce protective responses using vaccines.
Robert B. Tesh, PhD
Dr. Robert B. Tesh currently serves as Professor of Pathology, and Microbiology and Immunology at UTMB, and is Director of the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses. His work involves characterizing viruses that cause life-threatening tropical infectious diseases, including zoonotic and arthropod-borne viruses that cause infections such as West Nile and Yellow Fever. His work on emerging viruses is critical to improving global public health. In addition, Dr. Tesh holds the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense at UTMB for his work with pathogens of bioterrorism potential.
Melanie Ott, MD,PhD
Dr. Melanie Ott, Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, works on two of the most dangerous transmissible pathogens that affect human health: the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The Ott lab focuses specifically on molecular mechanisms of HIV and HCV virions, and their interaction with host cells.
Leor S. Weinberger
Dr. Leor S. Weinberger is an Associate Investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and is Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Weinberger’s cutting edge research dealing with gene replication and antiviral therapies was recently recognized with an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.
Warner C. Greene, MD, PhD
Dr. Warner C. Greene, Director of GVN Center of Excellence and Director at Gladstone’s Institute of Virology and Immunology, seeks to better understand the relationship between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with its cellular hosts. The goal of the Greene Lab is to provide new approaches for therapy to treat HIV-infected people and to prevent the spread of the virus. By examining the functions of CD4 T cells and abnormal proteins called amyloid fibrils, his lab provides insights into how target cells actually become infected with HIV.
Yutaka Tagaya, BM,PhD
Dr. Tagaya is Head, T-cell Biology Lab, Division of Basic Sciences and Vaccine Research, Institute of Human Virology, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and a member of the GVN Task Force on HTLV. Dr. Tagaya’s group at the IHV studies the molecular mechanism of CD8 T cell differentiation in special connection to a transcription factor IRF-8. Dr. Tagaya’s group is also developing novel anti-cytokine drugs that may be used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases using the animal models his group has generated in the past. His group also studies the leukemic mechanism associated with HTLV-1.
Robert C. Gallo, MD
Dr. Robert C. Gallo is Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Global Virus Network, and Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland, a GVN Center of Excellence. He is renowned for his research on HIV, most notably his co-discovery in 1984 that HIV (a retrovirus) was the cause of AIDS and his development of the HIV blood test. The test enabled health care workers to screen for the AIDS virus – leading to a more rapid diagnosis while simultaneously protecting patients receiving blood transfusions. Prior to the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Gallo, with colleagues, discovered both interleukin-2 (IL-2) and the first human retrovirus, HTLV-1, the carcinogenic adult leukemia virus.
Dr. Vincenzo Ciminale is a Senior Investigator in the Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology at the University of Padova in Padua, Italy. His work focuses on understanding the life cycle of complex human retroviruses (HTLV-1 and HTLV-2). HTLV-1 causes adult T-cell leukemia and tropical spastic paraparesis. HTLV-2 infection may be associated with increased risk of developing inflammatory neuropathies, and infectious diseases, and plays an important role in the progression of HIV-infected patients to AIDS. There are no vaccines available or effective antiviral drugs against these viruses.
Luis Menendez-Arias, PhD
Dr. Luis Menendez-Arias, Research Professor of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council) and Chairman of the Department of Virology and Microbiology of the Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”, studies human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) and its resistance to antiretroviral drugs. Antiretroviral drugs currently represent the best hope of a better future for millions of HIV-positive patients; and among these drugs, reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) are the most important group in the fight against HIV.
Dr. Maria Salvato, Executive Secretary to the Scientific Leadership Group of the Global Virus Network and Associate Director of the IHV-GVN, is a professor at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV), University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her expertise is in pathogenesis of RNA viruses, and in the use of animal models (rodent, guinea pig, and primate) for testing vaccines and for the OMICS profiling of infections. She has chaired the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) committee for arenaviruses and has served on Institutional Biosafety Committees, on Human Subjects review boards, and on Animal Care and Use Committees.
Thorsten Wollf, MD
Dr. Thorsten Wolff is Head of the Influenza and Respiratory Virus unit at the Robert Koch Institute. Dr. Wolff’s research focuses on the interactions of human and animal respiratory viruses with their hosts and host cells. His work on the molecular characteristics of influenza viruses offers the potential for new antiviral drugs to improve public health
Robert Redfield, MD
Dr. Robert Redfield is Professor of Medicine and Co-Founder of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has been actively engaged in clinical research and clinical care of chronic human viral infections and infectious diseases, especially HIV, for over 30 years. He made several important early contributions to our understanding of HIV, including the demonstration of the importance of heterosexual transmission and the development of the Walter Reed staging system for HIV infection. Presently Dr. Redfield oversees an extensive clinical program providing HIV care and treatment to over 5,000 patients in the Baltimore/Washington DC community.
Dr. William Blattner, Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) and Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has an extensive background in virology. He was among the team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute that initially discovered the first human retrovirus, HTLV-1 virus and the AIDS virus, as well as improving the sensitivity and specificity of the HIV blood test. Internationally, he supported a large public health effort in Nigeria to contain that country’s massive HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Esteban Domingo, PhD
Dr. Esteban Domingo presently serves as Director of the GVN Center of Excellence and is Research Professor at Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” in Madrid, Spain. His work on the evolution, virulence and genetic mutation rates of RNA virus has led to new theories of viral quasispecies and how these dynamic viral populations contribute to chronic infections–such as HIV and hepatitis C–and complicate antiviral therapies through the development of resistance. Dr. Domingo’s studies have also established innovative antiviral strategies such as lethal mutagenesis, a process whereby a mutation-increasing drug is applied to cells infected with viruses like HIV or polio-virus, subsequently causing a decrease in genetic adaptability in the viruses
Diane E. Griffin, MD,PhD
Dr. Diane E. Griffin is University Distinguished Service Professor and Alfred and Jill Sommer Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests are in the area of pathogenesis of viral diseases with a particular focus on measles and alphavirus encephalitis. These studies address issues related to virulence and the role of immune responses in protection from infection and in clearance of infection.
James W. LeDuc, PhD
Dr. James W. LeDuc, Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN) Center of Excellence and Professor of Medicine at University of Texas Medical Branch, works to understand how people become infected with some of the most dangerous pathogens known to man. He coordinates research activities, prevention initiatives, and outbreak investigations for pathogens that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers, influenza and other respiratory infections, childhood viral diseases, and newly emerging diseases such as SARS. He is chiefly interested in understanding the factors involved in making some people particularly vulnerable to infections.
Eric M. Verdin MD
Dr. Eric M. Verdin is a Senior Investigator and Co-Director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Verdin researches the roles of proteins and enzymes called histone deacetylases, HDACs, which are known to be involved with aging and cancer. In addition, his work on HIV was recognized with an Avant-Garde Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Verdin currently serves on the National Scientific Advisory Council of the American Federation for Aging Research and was recognized with a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a senior scholarship from the Ellison Medical Foundation.
Heinz Ellerbrok, PhD
Dr. Heinz Ellerbrok is deputy head at the unit for Highly Pathogenic Viruses, the consultant laboratory for tick-borne encephalitis at the Robert Koch institute, and lecturer for molecular diagnostics at the Polytechnical University of Berlin. His research focuses on emerging diseases, molecular diagnostics and detection methods for biothreat agents.
Dr. Reinhard Burger serves as Director of the GVN Center of Excellence and President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, a German National Public Health Institute that has a wide range of functions in the prevention, investigation and management of infectious diseases. Dr. Burger’s research focus includes the transmission of infectious diseases through blood transfusion and plasma products. Dr. Burger currently serves as Chairman of the National Advisory Committee Blood (Arbeitskreis Blut) of the German Federal Ministry of Health.