The GVN’s elite Short Course aims to alleviate worldwide decline  in rising, highly trained medical virologists

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 14, 2017: The Global Virus Network (GVN) launched its Fourth Annual Short Course on Medical Virology held August 13-19, 2017 for 15 early career medical virologists from Australia, Brazil, India, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. The preeminent one-week course on basic, translational, and clinical aspects of viruses features world-renowned researchers drawn from GVN Centers of Excellence, comprising 39 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 24 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.  The Short Course is designed to counter a declining number of researchers entering the field of medical virology.

The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder and scientific director, Global Virus Network.

“This year’s program is one of the most robust, well-rounded agendas since the Short Course’s inception,” said Gallo, who is co-discoverer of HIV as the cause of AIDS and The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “My colleagues and I have noticed a disturbing, declining trend in those entering the field of medical virus research.  This decline is unacceptable, particularly as deadly viral threats are on the rise.  The GVN Short Course is a model program that could be replicated worldwide to help reverse the decline of rising highly-trained medical virus researchers.”

This year’s agenda includes discussions on important viruses such as hepatitis, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Zika, HIV, measles and, HPV, among others. Topics include, biosurveillance, combatting animal virus threats in a One Health approach, bioinformatics, and an insectary tour.  For the complete program please visit http://ow.ly/YpRm30e6LcN.

At the end of the annual course, participants elect a fellow participant as the “next emerging leader in medical virology” based on leadership and expertise.  The nominee returns to the course the following year as a speaker.  This year, all past nominees will speak during the course including Florian Krammer, PhD (2014), Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA; Christina Gavegnano, PhD (2015), Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, USA and, Miguel Garcia-Knight, PhD (2016), Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Microbiológicas, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico.

“The Global Virus Network has created a worldwide infrastructure of renowned scientists and medical experts that links basic science research with translational application,” said Dr. Gavegnano.  “The GVN short course provides a front-row seat to a framework for young people to embark on a career in virology; GVN paints a picture encompassing coursework, degrees, post-graduate opportunities, and ability to join cutting-edge science discovery that can impact the lives of millions.”

“This course provides a broad perspective on medically important viruses from leading experts and is set up to encourage close interaction between invited speakers and international attendees,” said Dr. Garcia-Knight.  “It’s an excellent opportunity to use the links within the GVN to advance research programs back home and is something I intend to take advantage of.”

This year’s Global Virus Network speakers, in addition to Dr. Gallo and others, include:

Konstantin Chumakov, PhD, Associate Director for Research, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, U.S. Federal Drug Administration; Diane Griffin MD, PhD, Alfred and Jill Sommer Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Andrew Haddow, PhD, Researcher in the Virology Division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; Shyam Kottilil, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Co-Director, Clinical Research Unit, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Erica Ollman- Saphire, PhD, Professor, Immunology & Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute and Director, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium; and, Ab Osterhaus, PhD, DVM, Director, Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, Professor, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, CEO, Artemis One Health Foundation.

The GVN is a global authority and resource for the identification and investigation, interpretation and explanation, control and suppression, of viral diseases posing threats to mankind.  It enhances the international capacity for reactive, proactive and interactive activities that address mankind-threatening viruses and addresses a global need for coordinated virology training through scholarly exchange programs for recruiting and training young scientists in medical virology.  The GVN also serves as a resource to governments and international organizations seeking advice about viral disease threats, prevention or response strategies, and GVN advocates for research and training on virus infections and their many disease manifestations.

The GVN, in partnership with The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Institut Pasteur, will convene the 9th International Global Virus Network Meeting in Melbourne, Australia September 25-27, 2017.  This year’s meeting will focus on “Pandemic, Epidemic and Emerging Viruses in the Asia Pacific Region.”  More information can be found at www.gvn.org.