Global Virus Network Adds Tulane University School of Medicine as Newest Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Atlanta, GA, USA, Oct. 19, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and Tulane University School of Medicine announced today the induction of Tulane as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 38 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 25 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 of GVN and Robert Garry, PhD, professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, assistant dean, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, program manager, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, Tulane University School of Medicine. Garry will be director of Tulane’s GVN Center of Excellence.

The new Tulane GVN Center of Excellence focuses on a number of aspects of viral pathogenesis. Tulane also leads the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC), a public-private partnership of scientists who are developing countermeasures, including diagnostics, immunotherapeutics and vaccines, against Lassa virus, Ebola and Marburg viruses, flaviviruses (including Zika virus) and several other high consequence pathogens.

“Given their breadth and deep expertise in viruses, particularly hemorrhagic viruses, Tulane will be an excellent resource for 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. “Bob Garry’s ability to establish successful public-private partnerships, such as the VHFC, to help bring lab research to the clinic, particularly in the field of diagnostics, will be a tremendous boost to the GVN.”

“We look forward to joining the GVN so that we can better foster infrastructure development, research, training and education on detection, prevention, amelioration, and treatment of viral hemorrhagic fever viruses targeting both the scientific and general communities,” says Garry. “We have a significant presence in West Africa and are pleased to extend our global reach through the GVN.”

The VHFC is a collaboration between Tulane, Scripps Research Institute (a GVN Center of Excellence), Harvard University/Broad Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch (a GVN Center of Excellence), Autoimmune Technologies LLC, Kenema Government Hospital (Sierra Leone), Redeemers University and the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (Nigeria), Zalgen Labs, LLC, and various other partners in West Africa.

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.

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 25 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 Tulane University School of Medicine

One of the nation’s most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Tulane School of Medicine is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States. Tulane School of Medicine recruits top faculty, researchers and students from around the world, and pushes the boundaries of medicine with groundbreaking medical research and surgical advances. Tulane remains in the forefront of modern medical innovation and is equipping the next generation of medical professionals with the tools to succeed in the rapidly changing future of health care.

Global Virus Network and the Japanese Society for Virology (JSV) Host Meeting of Top Virologists From Around the World

Virus Researchers Descend Upon Sapporo to Address Rising Global Viral Threats
Sapporo, Japan, October 18, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working together to prevent illness and death from viral disease, will hold its 8thmeeting in Sapporo, Japan October 23—25, 2016 in partnership with the Japanese Society for Virology (JSV), the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) of Japan and the Research Center for Zoonosis Control (CZC) at Hokkaido University. The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, GVN Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor, Hideki Hasegawa, MD, PhD, Director of the Department of Pathology of NIID and Hirofumi Sawa, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of CZC and Professor of Molecular Pathobiology at CZC. Both CZC and NIID comprise Japan’s GVN Center of Excellence which also includes the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo and the Institute for Virus Research (IVR) at Kyoto University.
“While viruses such as Zika dominate international headlines, researchers are continuously working vigorously behind the scenes to solve not only these critical current threats but dangerous imminent threats as well,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV as the cause of AIDS and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “International meetings such as this one are an integral piece in solving these scientific challenges and forging global collaborations that might otherwise not exist.”
He continued, “I am especially pleased to co-host this year’s GVN meeting in Japan given my long-history with this great nation with my lab’s discovery in 1980 of a human retrovirus endemic in Japan and the only known human leukemia virus – HTLV. It is an important virus that will be discussed during our meeting as it can cause devastating symptoms and sometimes death.”
“Japan has proudly been a member of the GVN since its inception in 2011, and is honored to host our internationally renowned colleagues in an effort to advance global health,” said Dr. Hideki Hasegawa. “My colleagues at NIID and across Japan join me in welcoming GVN to Sapporo.”
This year’s GVN meeting includes a robust discussion with candid conversations on cutting-edge research such as Zika virus, HTLV-1, human papilloma virus (HPV), influenza, Ebola virus, Lassa virus, dengue virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, chikungunya, among other viruses, and viral diagnostics.
“The JSV meeting’s 1400 registrants look forward to having the opportunity to have full access to the GVN sessions, thereby expanding opportunities for collaborative dialogue, particularly for researchers in Japan,” said Dr. Hirofumi Sawa.
“The interaction of GVN members and highlighting its activities with the many hundreds of Japanese virologists attending their own national meeting will demonstrate the international importance of the GVN and will provide a unique opportunity to establish new research collaborations,” said William Hall, MD, PhD, GVN Co-Founder, Professor of Microbiology at the University College Dublin, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Distinguished Professor in the CZC at Hokkaido University.
The GVN is an essential and critical defense against viral disease. It is a coalition comprised of world renowned virologists, all working to advance knowledge about how viruses cause disease, to develop drugs and vaccines to prevent illness and death, and to train the next generation of virus researchers. GVN is the only institution in the world that has expertise in all classes of human viruses.
For a full program please visit http://gvn.org/sapporo_2016/. One-on-one interviews can be arranged upon request and a press conference will be held Tuesday, October 25 at 12:00 pm at the Sapporo Convention Center, Rm 101. A simultaneous interpreter will be provided during the press conference. Tweet #GVNSapporo2016 and @GlobalVirusNews.
OFFICIAL PRESS CONFERENCE
*Simultaneous Interpreter will be provided
Time: October 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Where:

Sapporo Convention Center, Rm 101(1-1-1 Higashi-Sapporo 6-jo, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo, 003-0006, Japan TEL: +81-11-817-1010)

What:

“Global Virus Network and the Japanese Society for Virology (JSV) Host Meeting of TopVirologists From Around the World: Virus Researchers Descend Upon Sapporo to Address Rising
Global Viral Threats”

Who:

Hideki Hasegawa, MD, PhD, Director, Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious
Diseases (NIID)
Robert Gallo, MD, Co-Founder & International Scientific Advisor, Global Virus Network (GVN) and Director,
Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Hiroshi Kida, DVM, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Head, Research Center for Zoonosis Control (CZC),
Hokkaido University
Scott Weaver, MS, PhD, Chair, GVN Zika Task Force and Director of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory, a GVN Center of Excellence

CONTACTS
Hokkaido University Contact: Hirofumi Sawa, +81-11-7065185 or [email protected]
GVN Contact: Nora Grannell, +1 443 823 0613 or [email protected]

Hosts

[one_whole background-color=”white”][one_fourth boxed=”true”] black-logo-81[/one_fourth][one_fourth boxed=”true”] Hokkaido
[/one_fourth][one_fourth boxed=”true”] [/one_fourth][one_fourth_last] NIID-logo5[/one_fourth_last]

[/one_whole]

Global Virus Network Announces $100,000 Donation from The Allergan Foundation to Establish International Serum Bank for Zika Task Force

Serum bank provides leading repository of Zika serum samples to support coordinated, global research effort to address Zika crisis

Baltimore, Maryland, US – October 17, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 37 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 25 countries and comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, today announced that the Allergan Foundation, a U.S.-based private charitable foundation endowed by Allergan plc, has donated $100,000 to the GVN Zika Task Force to help supports efforts to address the growing Zika crisis.

The Allergan Foundation donation will allow the GVN Zika Task Force to establish an international serum bank housing collected blood donations from individuals after confirmed infection with the Zika virus. The donation comes at a critical time in the fight against the growing Zika pandemic amid lack of funding sources necessary to combat the virus.
“The Allergan Foundation is proud to support GVN in its efforts to address the global health challenge society faces from the Zika virus,” said Gwyn Grenrock, Executive Director, The Allergan Foundation. “Through this donation to the Global Virus Network, we will have a direct impact on the important work being done in the U.S. and internationally to better diagnose and advance understanding of Zika.”

“Allergan is committed to supporting healthcare professionals and organizations in their efforts to address the diagnosis, prevention and public health challenges posed by growing global healthcare threats, including the international Zika crisis,” said Gavin Corcoran, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Allergan. “Allergan, through the philanthropic support of the Allergan Foundation, is proud to support this critical research effort by the Global Virus Network, and to potentially working with GVN on future research and public health efforts.”

“We are most appreciative of the Allergan Foundation’s donation and for their leadership for this important global research project and we look forward to additional opportunities for a growing partnership,” said Robert Gallo, MD, who is Co-founder and International Scientific Advisor of the Global Virus Network (GVN) and most widely known for his co-discovery of HIV. He continued, “Allergan’s donation allows GVN Zika researchers to work offensively as opposed to defensively. I often challenge those asking why scientists aren’t moving faster, acting quicker by suggesting that funders invest more so that laboratory discoveries can quickly translate to public health solutions, particularly during an acute outbreak. Allergan’s donation does just that for the Zika pandemic.” Dr. Gallo is also director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.

The GVN Zika Task Force is chaired by Scott Weaver, MS, PhD, who is also director of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and scientific director of the Galveston National Laboratory, a GVN Center of Excellence. The Task Force serves as a catalyst for driving communication and information flow between fellow GVN colleagues researching and responding to the Zika epidemic gripping the world.

“A major obstacle to understanding and controlling the Zika epidemic is affordable, accurate diagnostics,” said Dr. Weaver. “This Zika serum bank will meet a critical global deficit by expanding a burgeoning program to obtain, validate and make available consistent, high quality immune sera from a wide variety of convalescent patients after definitive Zika diagnosis. Meaningful international collaborations are the key to ending this Zika outbreak.” According to the World Health Organization, 73 countries and territories are reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus transmissions.

In a GVN survey of its Centers of Excellence and 28 GVN Zika Task Force members, lack of sera from definitively diagnosed patients was identified as a major need to move the diagnostic field forward. Limited quantities of sera are a result of a number of variables, including patients typically providing only a small amount of blood that is consumed for their own diagnosis, leaving little to no sample to evaluate new tests. This newly funded serum bank will alleviate this issue by providing clinical samples to evaluate immune response to Zika virus infection and to compare this response to those of vaccines participating in the first human clinical trials.  “Our goal is to assemble a collection of at least 25 sera, each in quantities to supply 25 or more investigators. Oversight by my team at UTMB, the GVN leadership, and Zika Task force members, will ensure that these precious samples are made available to the most worthy requestors,” said Dr. Weaver.

About the Allergan Foundation

The Allergan Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation committed to providing a lasting and positive impact in the communities in which Allergan plc employees live and work. In addition to allocating resources primarily on health and human services, the Foundation conducts grant making in support of civic and community programs, education and the arts. Since its inception in 1998, The Allergan Foundation has distributed more than $60 million to a wide variety of philanthropic pursuits – improving lives, elevating communities.

About Allergan

Allergan plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.

Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women’s health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.

Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, the Company’s R&D model, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. This approach has led to Allergan building one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry with 65+ mid-to-late stage pipeline programs in development.

Our Company’s success is powered by our more than 16,000 global colleagues’ commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.

With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.

For more information, visit Allergan’s website at www.Allergan.com.