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.