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“The Network meetings provide a unique forum for GVN scientists to convene and candidly discuss unpublished data and to forge new collaborations to combat viral disease,” says GVN’s President.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.