Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 15, 2021: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, and the Institut de Recherche en Santé, de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formation [Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training], or the IRESSEF, announced the addition of the IRESSEF as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence.
“We are pleased to join scientists from the IRESSEF since they will provide a significant scientific contribution to the GVN, and also they will reinforce the interactions between English and French speaking colleagues in Africa and all around the world to discuss training, education and collaborative research programs that the GVN will be pursuing,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, who is President of the GVN and Professor at the University of South Florida. “These partnerships are executed in tight coordination with the institutions and networks already established in, and involved in, Africa such as the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), Africa CDC, African Academy of Sciences, Foundation Merieux and the International Network of the Institut Pasteur.”
IRESSEF laboratories focus on several aspects of viral pathogens including human immunodeficiency virus, viral hepatitis, human papilloma virus, herpes simplex viruses, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including Ebola, Zika, SARS-CoV-2, among others. The latest GVN Center is led by Souleymane Mboup, PharmD, PhD, Professor in Microbiology, Founder and CEO of IRESSEF and Founding member of the ASLM.
“To conduct quality research, it is important to build a new generation of researchers through high quality training and mentorship,” said Dr. Mboup. “We look forward to working with the GVN to build capacity and transfer technology to set the stage for quality research, to building new strategic partnerships and gaining visibility and impact, and the IRESSEF is keen to offer its laboratory platform and facilities to host GVN trainings.”
IRESSEF is located near in Diamniadio, near Dakar and works in unison with national organizations such as the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and with institutes, universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations across Africa as well as many Western institutions. IRESSEF embeds a routine medical laboratory; several research laboratories with a focus on immunology, virology, genomics, molecular biology, microbiology, and a BSL-3; a clinical trials platform; an epidemiological department; a social sciences department; and, support platforms for maintenance and metrology, biosafety and quality management systems, biobank, IT, communication, administration, financials and, international partnerships. IRESSEF, through its Proficiency Testing Program, produces and provides QC panels to around one hundred PEPFAR-supported laboratories in Africa. IRESSEF laboratories are ISO 15189 & ISO 15190 accredited. Further, IRESSEF manages and/or participates in different research networks including the West African Node of Excellence for Tuberculosis, AIDS, Malaria (WANETAM), United World for Arbovirus Network (UWARN), West Africa Global Health Alliance (WAGHA), African Coalition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT), and the Innovation in Laboratory Engineered Accelerated Diagnostics (iLEAD).
“Africa is the epicenter of many epidemics, and an important partner in researching viral threats,” said Robert Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor of the GVN. “We are most pleased to welcome our colleagues from Senegal into the GVN and look forward to meaningful collaborations.”
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, existing 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 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 34 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
Nora Samaranayake, GVN