Global Virus Network Adds Internationally Renowned Mérieux Foundation as Newest Center of Excellence

Global Virus Network Adds Internationally Renowned Mérieux Foundation as Newest Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Lyon, France, July 12, 2017: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and the Mérieux Foundation announced today the induction of the foundation as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 39 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 24 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder and scientific director, Global Virus Network and Benoit Miribel, director general, Mérieux Foundation.  Miribel will be director of the Mérieux Foundation’s GVN Center of Excellence.

The internationally respected Mérieux Foundation, the newest GVN Center of Excellence, impacts global health by strengthening local capacities of developing countries to reduce the impact of infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, HIV or Zika on vulnerable populations.  The foundation offers a specific model based on a long history of expertise in clinical biology and a comprehensive approach to public health issues. Its international scientific network, GABRIEL*, brings together researchers in 16 countries to work on collaborative applied research programs.


“We were unanimous in our decision to induct the Mérieux Foundation into the GVN,” said Gallo, who is co-discoverer of HIV 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. “We are so pleased that the foundation’s mission synergizes so closely with that of the GVN’s mission.  The GVN looks forward to building its international capacity with the help of the foundation’s world renowned clinical biological laboratories, collaborative research and training programs, and local initiatives.”


“We look forward to joining forces with the Global Virus Network and contributing our expertise to strengthen an already impressive organization,” says Miribel.  “We have an existing strong presence in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.  In partnership with the GVN we will better structure international cooperation in the field of research on infectious diseases, a pillar of our work, and help train the next generation of medical virologists.”


The Mérieux Foundation’s research network comprises the following institutions:

Africa – Centre Pasteur du Cameroun (Cameroon); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease (Mali); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of the Antananarivo University (Madagascar);

Americas – Bioinformatics Laboratory (LABINFO), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); •          Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Brazil), Laboratório Nacional de Computação Científic (Brazil); National University of Asunción (Paraguay); Respiratory Viruses Laboratory (Brazil); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of the GHESKIO Centers (Haiti);

Asia – Center of Infectiology Lao Christophe Mérieux of the Lao Ministry of Health (Laos); Christophe Mérieux Laboratory at the Institute of Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (China); International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research (Bangladesh); Institute for developing Science and Health initiatives (Bangladesh); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory at the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical & Infectious Diseases (Bangladesh); King George’s Medical University (India); Mongolian Academy of Medical Sciences (Mongolia); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of the University of Health Sciences, Phnom Penh (Cambodia);

Europe and the Middle East – Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (France); National Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (Georgia); Zaporozhye State Medical University (Ukraine); Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Saint Joseph University of Beirut and Doctoral School of Science and Technology of the Lebanese University in Tripoli (Lebanon).

“Adding the Fondation Mérieux to the GVN will boost GVN’s already impressive mission to combat deadly diseases,” said Guy Vernet, PhD, senior staff scientist Advanced Bioscience Laboratories Inc. (ABL), board of advisors member, Merieux Foundation USA and board of directors member, GVN.  “The foundation’s impressive laboratories and diagnostics programs are key components of the public health response to epidemic infectious diseases, especially in resource-limited, tropical countries, and they will boost GVN’s resources, expertise and capabilities tremendously.”

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

* GABRIEL: Global Approach to Biological Research, Infectious diseases and Epidemics in Low-income countries

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from 24 countries. The GVN’s mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic viral threats through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews


About the Mérieux Foundation

Established in 1967, the Mérieux Foundation is an independent family foundation, chaired by Alain Mérieux, which has public interest status. Its mission is to strengthen local capacities to fight the infectious diseases that affect vulnerable populations in developing countries, particularly mothers and children.

The Mérieux Foundation focuses on 4 objectives:

  • Increasing vulnerable populations’ access to diagnostics by strengthening clinical laboratories in national healthcare systems
  • Enhancing local applied research capabilities by training researchers, developing collaborative programs and creating Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, transferred to local partners
  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing and public health initiatives leveraging Les Pensières Center for Global Health
  • Improving conditions for mothers and children taking a global health approach.

The Global Virus Network Convenes in Munich

Top virologists to discuss emerging viral threats

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Global Virus Network, a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from viral disease, will hold its spring 2013 meeting in Munich, Germany May 30 to June 1. The closed meeting, hosted by the Institute of Virology at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Technische Universität München, will include one public session as announced today by Dr. Robert C. Gallo, co-founder of the GVN and Chair of GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board. Joining Dr. Gallo in this announcement are fellow GVN co-founders, Dr. Reinhard Kurth of the Ernst Schering Foundation in Germany, Dr. William Hall of University College Dublin in Ireland, and GVN’s President.

“An important lesson learned from my experience with AIDS is the need for a network to engage top medical virologists, with the highest expertise, covering all classes of viruses, from around the world as new and existing issues emerge – so that scientist are held responsible, rather than getting involved by chance,” says Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and most widely known for co-discovering HIV and developing the HIV blood test. “In addition to taking stock of new lines of research needed to stop the spread of viral disease, we will be discussing how best to work with corporations, health agencies and other groups to ensure that the policy decisions integrate the best scientific information available. I am particularly looking forward to a unique workshop, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where we will discuss why some vaccines confer lifelong immunity, while others have short term immunological benefits requiring multiple boosts. This is the final frontier in achieving a successful HIV preventive vaccine. ”

“The Network meetings provide a unique forum for GVN scientists to convene and candidly discuss unpublished data and to forge new collaborations to combat viral disease,” says GVN’s President. “Through these meetings, the coalition becomes stronger and stronger. In Munich, we will also focus significant attention on a critical needs area, including how to inspire a whole new generation of medical virologists.“

The closed meeting of leading international scientists from 19 countries will also include presentations from varying GVN Centers of Excellence from around the globe to help facilitate collaborations among the network’s prominent researchers. Current emerging viral threats such as the new coronavirus originating in the Middle East, emerging bunyaviruses (SFTS) in Asia and the new influenza strain (H7N9) detected in China, will be among the researchers’ top priorities.

“We are delighted to host our colleagues from around the world,” says Professor Ulrike Protzer, head of the hosting network partner, the Institute of Virology at the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen and the Technical University Muenchen. “The GVN meeting gives us the opportunity to share new scientific results and to create a better network for international virology research.”

The following prominent GVN Board of Directors members will also be in attendance: The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Chair), Dr. Andrew Cheng, G. Steven Burrill, Mr. Nicolas De Santis, Mr. Mathew Evins, Mr. Tim Moynahan, Dr. Anthony Cernera, Dr. Romain Murenzi, Mr. Sajan Pillai, and Mr. Guenter Lorenz.

Medical virologists and GVN Board of Directors in attendance are available for one-on-one interviews. To view the closed meeting program, please visit here.