Global Virus Network Adds Singapore Consortium as Newest Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Singapore, August 22, 2018: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and the GVN-Singapore Center of Excellence, comprised of 7 virology research intuitions led by Duke-NUS Medical School,  announced today the induction of the Singaporean coalition as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 42 Centers of Excellence and 7 affiliates in 27 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

The announcement was made by Prof. Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder and Scientific Director of the GVN, Prof. Linfa Wang, PhD, Professor & Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS and professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, and Prof. Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN.  Prof. Wang will be Director of the GVN-Singapore Center of Excellence.

“Joining the seven institutions to form GVN’s latest Center of Excellence in Singapore was a terrific idea by Prof. Linfa Wang,” said Gallo, also The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.  “Their combined expertise and location in Southeast Asia is integral to connecting us to virus hotspots in Singapore and the surrounding region.”

“Our established platforms from pathogen discovery, serological investigation to pathogenesis, animal models, biocontainment (up to ABSL3) challenge studies, and rapid biomarker assessment of countermeasure agents strongly positions us in the region to play an important role in all aspects of viral disease investigation,” said Wang.  “We currently have a large DTRA-funded project in Southeast Asia and have just been invited to help in the current investigation of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, India.  Both initiatives serve as good examples of what the GVN-Singapore Center of Excellence can contribute to global and regional efforts in fighting and containing viral diseases.”

“We look forward to GVN-Singapore making significant contributions in many areas, especially in rapid responses to outbreaks,” said Bréchot. “It is not common that coalitions in countries come together to form a regional GVN Center of Excellence, and we are delighted that this terrific group of experts came together to become a strong member of the GVN.  Their combined research will contribute greatly to our network as it encompasses pathogen biology, epidemiology, diagnostics, pathogenesis, structural biology, animal models, counter measures such as vaccines and therapeutics, and a One Health approach to emerging infectious diseases.”

The seven institutions comprising the GVN-Singapore Center of Excellence include:

Duke-NUS Medical School is a collaboration between Duke University and National University of Singapore. The program in Emerging Infectious Diseases is one of the Signature Research Programmes in the school with the mission to conduct cutting-edge infectious diseases research that will enhance healthcare in Singapore and the region. Wang will lead the GVN efforts for GVN Singapore and on behalf of Duke-NUS Medical School.

Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) was established in 2006 by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SIgN’s mission is to advance human immunology research, contribute scientific knowledge and make innovative discoveries to improve lives and further socio-economic growth. SIgN is committed to translate research findings into clinical and commercial applications, in partnership with clinics and industry.  SIgN is home to more than 210 national and international researchers and support staff led by 20 renowned Principal Investigators. The current SIgN research activities are broadly categorized into the areas of Infectious Diseases, Cancer and Immune Dysfunctions, and supported by a strong in-house cluster of cutting-edge technology platforms.  Prof. Lisa Ng, PhD, Senior Principal Investigator, will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of SIgN.

Environmental Health Institute (EHI) is the research arm of Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) that conducts research, surveillance and evidence-based risk assessment on infectious diseases of environmental concern. The Institute hosts the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research of Arboviruses and their Associated Vectors. The key thrust of the Institute is to develop knowledge and advance cost-effective tools and strategies to support public health operations and policies. Associate Institute Prof. Lee Ching Ng, PhD, Director, will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of the EHI.

National Public Health Laboratory (NHPL) is an accredited laboratory under Singapore’s Ministry of Health. The laboratory performs testing for viruses of public health significance and receives clinical specimens from public hospitals in the country for surveillance and outbreak investigation. It is also responsible for detection of rare or dangerous pathogens including potential biothreats.  The facilities enable virus isolation, sequencing, PCR, serology, bioinformatics and electron microscopy.  A BSL3 laboratory is used for RG3 agents. Associate Prof. Raymond Lin, MBBS, FRCPA, MSc, Head and Senior Consultant, will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of the NHPL.

NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is the medical faculty of the National University of Singapore and it is the oldest medical school in Singapore. Established in 1905 to educate and train medical professionals for Singapore, the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is a leading medical educational and research institution in Asia. Assoc. Prof. Justin Chu, PhD at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), a partnership between Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) and Imperial College London (Imperial), is training a generation of doctors who will put patients at the centre of their exemplary medical care. The School’s primary clinical partner is the National Healthcare Group, a leader in public healthcare recognised for the quality of its medical expertise, facilities and teaching. Named after local philanthropist Tan Sri Dato Lee Kong Chian, the School, which was officially opened by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on 28 August 2017, is a model for innovative medical education and a centre for transformative research.  Assist. Prof. Dahai Luo, PhD, BSc will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

DSO National Laboratories is the national defense research agency in Singapore. The Biological Defense Program is a core program within the Defense Medical & Environmental Research Institute (DMERI). The program performs R&D activities for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), developing technical competencies in diagnostics and countermeasures for a range of high risk high consequence pathogens for military operations and national emergencies.  Boon Huan Tan, PhD, Director, will lead the GVN efforts on behalf of the DSO National Laboratories.

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 human and animal 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 Fondation Mérieux (FM) and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), will convene the 10th International Global Virus Network Meeting on Eradication and Control of (Re-)Emerging Viruses in Annecy, France November 28-30. More information can be found at www.gvn.org.

 

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is essential and critical in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, exiting and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, working in close coordination with established national and international institutions.  It is a coalition comprised of eminent human and animal virologists from 42 Centers of Excellence and 7 Affiliates in 27 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation, advance knowledge about how to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses, mitigate and control how such viruses spread and make us sick, as well as develop drugs, vaccines and treatments to combat them.  No single institution in the world has expertise in all viral areas other than the GVN, which brings together the finest medical virologists to leverage their individual expertise and coalesce global teams of specialists on the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. The GVN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews.

Global Virus Network Hosts Fifth Short Course

Trains Next Generation of Virus Researchers from Around the Globe

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 16, 2018: The Global Virus Network (GVN) last week held its Fifth Annual Short Course on Medical Virology on August 5-11 for 16 early-career human and animal virologists from Austria, Canada, China, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, United States, and Zambia. The preeminent one-week course on basic, translational, and clinical aspects of viruses featured world-renowned researchers drawn from GVN Centers of Excellence, encompassing 41 Centers of Excellence and seven affiliates in 26 countries and comprising 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 human and animal virology.

Participants of the 2018 GVN Short Course

The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder and Scientific Director, GVN and Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President, GVN.

“The GVN is committed to cultivating and mentoring the next generation of medical virologists,” said Gallo, who is also The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Director, Institute of Human Virology (IHV), University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “Viral pandemics are not going to disappear, and it is incumbent on us, as leaders in the field, to help inspire and train future global leaders.”

“This year’s agenda included presentations from GVN experts in hepatitis, human T-cell leukemia virus, human immunodeficiency virus, measles, arboviruses, Ebola, Lassa fever, bioinformatics, influenza, human papilloma viruses, coronaviruses, polio and other enteroviruses, bio-surveillance, antiviral drug discovery, laboratory diagnostics, and One Health,” said Bréchot.  “Participants visited GVN Centers of Excellence at the IHV and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where they received an insectary tour.  They also visited the National Institutes of Health for a tour of the National Library of Medicine and to hear presentations from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Fogarty International Research Center.”

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.  This year’s nominee, who will return next year as a speaker, is Elysse Grossi-Soyster, MS, Laboratory Manager & Researcher,

LaBeaud Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine.  Past nominees include 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; Miguel Garcia-Knight, PhD (2016), Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Microbiológicas, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico; and, Yuki Furuse, MD, PhD (2017), Assistant Professor at the Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences at Kyoto University, Japan.

“It is very easy for researchers and clinicians to myopically focus on their specific research efforts,” said Grossi-Soyster. “The GVN Short Course provides a global view of medical virology through concise presentations that encompass many important and neglected viruses. Additionally, the small cohort size created a wonderful setting to connect with other researchers with diverse backgrounds and sparked new avenues for collaboration.  I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend and am looking forward to integrating my updated knowledge into current and future research projects.”

“I learned a lot during the Short Course, from basic virology to public health,” said Furuse. “In addition, the course gave me a terrific opportunity to network with participants and speakers with a variety of expertise from all over the world.  I believe the experience will lift my research to another level.”

This year’s GVN Short Course speakers, in addition to Gallo, among others, included: Man Charurat, PhD, MHS Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, IHV; Kenneth Bridbord, MD, MPH, Acting Deputy Director, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Konstantin Chumakov, PhD, Associate Director for Research, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, U.S. Federal Drug Administration; José Esparza MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, IHV and formerly of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization; Robert Garry, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Associate Dean for the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, Tulane Medical School; Diane Griffin MD, PhD, University Distinguished Service Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Shyam Kottilil, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Clinical Care and Research, IHV; Mary Marovich, MD, Director, Vaccine Research Program, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH; Kathleen Maletic Neuzil, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Director, Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Kenneth Olson, PhD, MS, Professor of Virology, Colorado State University; 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 human and animal 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 Fondation Mérieux (FM) and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), will convene the 10th International Global Virus Network Meeting on Eradication and Control of (Re-)Emerging Viruses in Annecy, France November 28-30.  More information can be found at www.gvn.org.

The Time to Cure Hepatitis B is Now

Nature Reviews Commentary lays  groundwork for the momentum behind hepatitis B cure research and the long-term implementation of HBV cure preparedness worldwide.

GVN Logo

 

 

 

 

On the eve of World Hepatitis Day, the International Coalition to Eliminate HBV (ICE-HBV), a global group of researchers, patient representatives and health organisations including the Global Virus Network (GVN), has called for the integration of a hepatitis B (HBV) cure in global plans to eliminate viral hepatitis.

More than 290 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the HBV, a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. Last year, nearly 900 000 people died from the disease.

A safe and effective vaccine to prevent HBV infection has been available since 1982 and its universal delivery is essential for the elimination of HBV as a public health threat. Lifelong treatment is also needed for those already chronically infected but currently is only accessed by some five per cent of the people who need it.

Members of ICE-HBV stakeholders’ group argue in a commentary published today in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology that there is a need for appropriate cure research and preparedness to complement the World Health Organization´s global elimination strategy, the HBV vaccine and the well- tolerated but poorly accessed therapy.

“I am honored and pleased now to be acting as Honorary President of the ICE-HBV coalition,” said Christian Bréchot, President of the Global Virus Network (GVN). “This is a most important initiative which has gathered the best scientists to find solutions for a deadly viral infection. I believe that ICE-HBV will benefit from GVN through ongoing programs such as the one GVN is supporting in India to detect, treat and prevent HBV in marginalized populations. The GVN looks forward to working towards a multi-disciplinarily approach help identify novel avenues for research in this area.”

“It is an ethical imperative that we rapidly scale-up diagnosis and treatment of these ‘missing millions’ and ensure that health systems engage them in order to provide equitable access to cure therapies once they become available,” said Dr Jeffrey Lazarus, an ICE-HBV member and head of the Health Systems Research Group at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Barcelona, Spain.

The current treatment regime helps keep HBV under control, but it is not a cure and must generally be taken for life. Even with ongoing treatment, people are still at a higher risk of developing liver cancer, particularly those with underlying cirrhosis due to chronic HBV. It raises issues of medication adherence and requires considerable investment for ongoing monitoring, adding to the challenges of achieving elimination.

Recent scientific progress and the momentum generated by the discovery of a cure for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has created a sense of hope to find a cure for HBV. ICE-HBV is calling for increased investments in HBV cure research and cure preparedness to save the lives of the 290 million people living with chronic hepatitis B worldwide, most of whom are unaware of their infection.

ICE-HBV will launch a Global Scientific Strategy to Cure Hepatitis B immediately before the Liver Meeting® 2018 in San Francisco (8 November 2018).  The scientific strategy aims to guide and accelerate research efforts globally, to ensure that the objectives outlined by WHO are sustainably met.  ICE-HBV has already begun moving forward the most urgent research priorities such as developing reliable models and assays to study the impact of new curative treatments under development.

ICE-HBV strongly supports both the World Health Organization global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis and the World Hepatitis Alliance’s ‘Find the Missing Millions’ campaign and urges a more universal health coverage approach to the hepatitis B response that has public health and research agencies go beyond the existing objectives and work together to discover and ensure access to curative treatment regimens for people living with HBV.

“Some 900 000 people dying unnecessarily of hepatitis B every year is completely unacceptable,” said Associate Professor Peter Revill, ICE-HBV Chair and Senior Medical Scientist in the Victorian Diseases Reference Laboratory at the Doherty Institute.  “HBV cure research could make all the difference and prevent adverse outcomes in all people infected with HBV, allowing them to live treatment-free fully productive lives and reduce the stigma associated with this chronic infection.”

This release is endorsed by:

Global Virus Network Adds The University of Zambia’s Africa Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals as a New Affiliate Member

The new Affiliate’s membership is sponsored by two GVN Centers of Excellence, Hokkaido University and University College Dublin

Prof. Aaron Mweene

Prof. Aaron Mweene, PhD, MSc, BVM, Professor of Virology and Director of ACEIDHA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Lusaka, Zambia, January 24, 2018: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and the AfricaCenter of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals (ACEIDHA) at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, Zambia announced today the induction of ACEIDHA as GVN’s newest Affiliate member via two GVN Centers of Excellence, Hokkaido University (HU) in Sapporo, Japan and University College Dublin in Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The GVN represents 40 Centers of Excellence and seven affiliates in 25 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

The announcement was made by Aaron Mweene, PhD, MSc, BVM, Professor of Virology and Director of ACEIDHA, Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Hirofumi Sawa, MD, PhD, Deputy Director and Professor of Molecular Pathobiology at the Research Center for Zoonosis Control (CZC) at Hokkaido University, and, William Hall, MD, PhD, Co-founder of the GVN and Professor of Microbiology at the University College Dublin.

“It is an honor to be affiliated with the GVN through two longtime, prominent partners, Hokkaido University and University College Dublin,” said Dr. Mweene.  “ACEIDHA recently received a $6 million loan from the World Bank to support and increase both the educational and research activities in Zambia and surrounding areas. With our new Affiliate status at the GVN, we will better be able to train new cadres of virologists at the post-graduate (MSc and PhD) and post-doctoral levels.  Concurrently, we also look forward to enhancing existing activities to develop the next generation of virologists to better prepare for emerging and re-emerging virus diseases in Africa.”

Said Dr. Bréchot, “It is my goal to strengthen GVN’s presence in Africa given the continent’s regional major significance in viral pandemics.  The GVN provides science-driven solutions to epidemic threats, and it contributes to the coordination of activities of many stakeholders involved in Global and One Health by interacting with existing networks and national and international organizations. The GVN will significantly reinforce educational programs and support to young investigators, in close partnership with African universities, African Academy of Science and industrial partners, as well as philanthropic organizations.”

He continued, “The inclusion of ACEIDHA will help GVN members facilitate interactions with a number of partners in Africa, which is critical to GVN’s mission in preparing the world for future outbreaks of disease.  Further, this new partnership illustrates a novel collaborative mode whereby a GVN Affiliate member in Africa has been ‘twinned’ with GVN Centers in Japan and Ireland, to maximize synergies and scientists’ mobility.”

The UNZA houses biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories (fixed and mobile) for tissue culture and virus isolation and an Animal BSL-2 (ABSL-2) laboratory for in-vitro experiments.  The BSL-3 provides significant capacity for the identification and control of important virus infections such as zoonotic agents, which pose significant local and global threats.  The new GVN Affiliate has infrastructure and capacity for the diagnosis of Ebola virus disease, Marburg virus disease, Yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic fever, Dengue, West Nile, Chikungunya, Zika, and many arenavirus infections.

“The University of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine and Hokkaido University have been partners for more than thirty years,” said Dr. Sawa.  “Many of the University of Zambia’s faculty have come to Japan to receive training while a number of Japanese faculty have had temporary and permanent positions in Zambia.  We are pleased to build on this foundation and utilize GVN’s vast reach to provide additional resources through the GVN.”

The ACEIDHA’s research activities include studies on the epidemiology and ecology of avian influenza, hemorrhagic fever viruses, African swine fever as well as the isolation and characterization of rabies viruses in Zambia. More recently, in collaboration with HU and UCD, the ACEIDHA has developed collaborative programs to identify new, emerging and re-emerging viruses. These research activities now include mosquito collection and analysis by conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) together with classical virus isolation and characterization.

“HU and UCD have been collaborating for more than twenty years on virus research and this new partnership with ACEIDHA is an extension of our success,” said Dr. Hall.  “For example, the ACEIDHA, HU and UCD, recently identified and characterized novel hemorrhagic nairovirus from bats.  While the GVN will be able to provide the ACEIDHA with many resources through our network, we look forward to working with the ACEIDHA in its new capacity as an Affiliate member of GVN.”

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, developing 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.

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 www.gvn.org.

* 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 www.gvn.org. 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.