Global Virus Network (GVN) Adds Senegal’s IRESSEF As Newest Member to Mitigate Viral Threats

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

Media Contact:
Nora Samaranayake, GVN
410-706-1966
[email protected]

A Media Briefing Addressing the Exploding International COVID-19 Crisis: Global Virus Network – Ideas For a Global Vaccination Strategy

Global Virus Network (GVN) Adds Gilead Sciences to GVN Healthcare & Pharma Centers of Excellence Coalition

The Partnership Focuses on Stimulating Collaborations and Training the Next Generation of Virus Researchers to Prepare for and Mitigate Future Global Threats

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 30, 2021: The Global Virus Network (“GVN”), the world’s leading coalition of virologists combatting current and emerging pandemic viral threats and viral causes of disease through international collaborative research response, by training the next generation of virologists and through education and advocacy, announced Gilead Sciences as its latest member of the GVN Healthcare and Pharma Center of Excellence Coalition, a groundbreaking, pioneering and collaborative strategic initiative that brings together and harnesses the expertise and resources of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to lead the war against viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health and mankind.

The announcement was jointly made by Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), and Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters, Tomas Cihlar, PhD, Vice President, Virology, Gilead Sciences and a member of the GVN Board of Directors and 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.

The current pandemic, the proliferation of other viral threats such as Ebola, dengue, Zika or yellow fever as well as the interplay between viruses such as HTLV, HPV, HBV and HCV with cancer, are yet other examples of the critical need to pool global resources and urgently address viral threats.  With partners, now including Gilead, Abbot and Sanofi Pasteur, the GVN is tightly connected to public and private sector entities to develop effective and sustainable scientific solutions to address viral threats and viral causes of disease.

“GVN’s Healthcare and Pharma Center of Excellence Coalition is bringing industry and academia together in a most impactful way,” said Dr. Bréchot.  “GVN serves as the catalyst to advance science by bridging the gap between the public and private health sectors.”

The international business community in general, and the global pharmaceutical industry, are essential to effectively stem the spread of viral diseases worldwide.  Such partners are critical in preparedness against potential pandemics and in stopping the spread of viruses as they appear.  Viruses, viral disease and epidemics and the resultant health problems know no boundaries and spread rapidly beyond national borders causing fear, panic and uncertainty in addition to untold and potentially devastating economic and social consequences.  As we well know from the current pandemic, businesses and corporations throughout the world are neither prepared nor immune and, for this reason, must collaborate, partner and work with organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Global Virus Network to mitigate, be prepared for and respond to viruses, viral disease and epidemics that are becoming far more commonplace, dangerous and harmful.

“Gilead is honored to join the GVN Healthcare & Pharma Center for Excellence Coalition,” said Dr. Cihlar. “As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, it is partnerships like these that underscore the important role of industry in preparing for potential future outbreaks by supporting world class science, as well as education on broader pandemic threats beyond COVID.”

“We are so delighted to have a Gilead relationship knowing well their outstanding contributions to therapeutic anti-viral drug development,” said Dr. Gallo.  “We look forward to growing GVN’s industry partnerships with organizations such as Gilead, Sanofi and Abbott as they are interested in a direct dialogue and collaborative partnership with scientists at the leading edge of viral research and drug and vaccine development.  Our partnerships help train the next generation of virologists to understand what they need to do as scientists working in the industry.  Should these researchers decide to pursue a career in academia and want to see some of their discoveries developed into a product, they will have a good idea about what an industry partner needs. Further, the Coalition partnership will equip candidates with the entrepreneurial spirit that will enable them to pursue a promising career in academia and/or industry.”

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.

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 35 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.

Media Contact:
Nora Samaranayake, GVN
410-706-1966
[email protected]

Celdara Medical and Global Virus Network Announce Collaboration to Advance Infectious Disease and Viral Infection Research and Development

The partnership will initially focus on SARS-CoV-2 and future pandemic threats.

BALTIMORE, MD and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and LEBANON, N.H. and NEW YORK, June 2, 2021 — Celdara Medical, LLC (Celdara), an experienced biopharma developer focused on launching promising products to the patients who need them the most, today announced a new strategic collaboration with the Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition comprised of human and animal virologists from 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 countries. As part of the Pandemic Security Initiative (PanSec) and the mission of the GVN, the two organizations will advance collaborative research on emerging and infectious diseases and fast spreading viral infections by identifying promising diagnostic tools, neutralizing antibodies, vaccines and drugs. An initial strategic focus will be on broad spectrum antivirals.

PanSec is a public-private partnership, striving to ensure preparedness for the next pandemic. Celdara has a robust early stage anti-infectives pipeline and extensive experience in pre-clinical pharmaceutical development which forms the foundation from which the PanSec was launched.

“We are thrilled to work with GVN through our Pandemic Security Initiative, which seeks to deliver on the promise of innovation in universities, government labs and businesses to prepare and protect us from future infectious disease pandemics,” said Dr. Jake Reder, Celdara’s cofounder and CEO. “The world was caught largely unaware by SARS-CoV-2; however, we believe history need not repeat itself with future viruses and epidemiological threats. One key learning from recent events is that no one institution, country or organization can solve a global disease threat alone. GVN has amassed a worldwide network which brings together the finest medical virologists to address the scientific challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses. Through the combined expertise of GVN, Celdara and PanSec, we can deliver on the most promising medical innovations and provide clinicians and first responders with powerful new medicines and tests.”

The standard drug development model doesn’t work for sporadic infectious diseases – without a market to provide returns there can be no private investment. Built on Celdara Medical’s successful business model, PanSec seeks to bridge this gap by unleashing innovation for patient and societal benefit by tapping into an existing innovation pipeline that spans the U.S. and beyond. Celdara has partnerships with research universities and institutions across the country and is harnessing their collective expertise as a part of the initiative.

“Our international network of academic virologists regularly generates important discoveries that have the potential to improve pandemic preparedness if they can be quickly and professionally developed. The partnership between the GVN and Celdara Medical will complement GVN’s work,” said Christian Bréchot, President, GVN and Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters.. “Long before COVID appeared on the global stage, viruses caused millions of deaths each year. Since our founding in 2011, GVN’s coalition of eminent virologists from around the world have been working to identify and understand viruses, with a long term goal to prevent illness and death. We look forward to continuing our important work in collaboration with PanSec,” said Prof. Robert Gallo, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder & Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Co-Founder & Chairman of the International Scientific Leadership Board of the GVN..

About Celdara Medical
Celdara Medical was founded by Drs. Jake Reder and Michael Fanger in 2008 and is headquartered at the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC) in Lebanon, N.H. Celdara Medical builds academic and early-stage innovations into high-potential medical companies, identifying discoveries of exceptional value at the earliest stages and moving them toward the market. Celdara Medical partners with inventors and their institutions, providing the developmental, financial, and business acumen required to bridge discovery and profitability. With robust funding options, a diverse and high impact Programmatic pipeline, and partnerships with world-class academic institutions and industry leaders, Celdara Medical navigates all aspects of a complex industry, accelerating science to improve human health.

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 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 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

About The Pandemic Security Initiative
The Pandemic Security Initiative seeks to protect the nation from future pandemics by developing medical countermeasures that integrate the best of ground-breaking science, entrepreneurial innovation, public-sector investment, and private-sector efficiency. With support from the public and private sectors, including the Department of Health and Human Services, its mission is to identify and develop innovative diagnostics, prophylactics, and therapeutics against pandemic scale threats. Celdara Medical initiated this work in 2014 and formalized it under the Pandemic Security Initiative umbrella in early 2020 to capture learnings from and aid in the response to COVID-19. Celdara Medical’s Academic Partner Network includes collaborations with over 60 leading universities, and thousands of pipeline innovations from hundreds of universities and research labs spanning all 50 states and dozens of countries. The Pandemic Security Initiative is an entrepreneurial, operating, health-security product developer. For more information on the Pandemic Security Initiative visit www.pansec.org.

Global Virus Network Analysis Suggests Measles, Polio and Tuberculosis Vaccines May Boost Immunity to Coronavirus

Innate Immunity Created by Live Attenuated Vaccines Like Measles and Polio May Provide Some Protection Against Future Pandemics – Idea Needs To Be Tested, Scientists Say

BALTIMORE, MD, May 18, 2021: Members of the Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition comprised of human and animal virologists from 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 countries, and colleagues today published a perspective proposing that live attenuated vaccines (LAVs), such as those for tuberculosis, measles, and polio, may induce protective innate immunity that mitigate other infectious diseases, triggering the human body’s natural emergency response to infections including COVID-19 as well as future pandemic threats.

The scientists suggest that LAVs prospectively might offer a vital tool to bend the pandemic curve, averting the exhaustion of public health resources and preventing needless deaths, and merit being studied. The perspective was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

“A review of epidemiological, clinical and biological evidence suggests that induction of innate immunity by existing LAVs, that is, the broadly effective vaccines, can protect against unrelated infections such as coronavirus, and could be used to control epidemics caused by emerging pathogens,”  said Dr. Robert Gallo, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder & Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Co-Founder & Chairman of the International Scientific Leadership Board of the Global Virus Network.

Dr. Gallo said, “This approach is worthy of prompt further study due to the probability of future pandemics. This could be a stop-gap before specific vaccines are made.  But even in the current pandemic they may be of use in non-affluent nations where the specific vaccines are not available.

“Our innate immune response is the first line of defense against invading, new pathogens. The outcome of any infection depends on the race between the pathogen and the host defense systems. The innate immunity and enhancing defense pathways provided by widely-used and well-recognized vaccines could substantially mitigate, or even prevent, infection from other pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2. This is especially valuable because LAVs can fill the gap until specific vaccines are available and in particular when they have not reached certain countries globally.

“We very actively support the marvelous COVID-19-specific vaccines, and nothing in this publication conflicts with the development and use of these effective vaccines,” said Dr. Michael Avidan of the Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University, St Louis, MO.  “We are suggesting that in the absence or availability of pathogen-specific vaccines, particularly in the beginning phase of a pandemic, that LAVs be rigorously tested to determine whether they can control infection and disease progression.”

“Even in the case of a microorganism such as SARS-CoV-2, for which we have been able to develop vaccines fairly quickly, it is still a minimum of one and a half to two years until a safe and effective vaccine can be produced, tested, distributed, and delivered globally,” said Dr. Dean Jamison, a leading global health economist of the Institute for Global Health Sciences, University of California, and the GVN. “In this period, countless lives have been lost and economic havoc has been unleashed in the world economy. This could be even more tragic in the case of a future pandemic for which the development of a vaccine is more challenging, transmission is more rapid, or herd immunity more difficult to achieve. LAVs that stimulate innate immunity could serve as a stop-gap until an effective vaccine is widely available.”

“Besides protecting against infection, innate immunity stimulation also has the potential to be used therapeutically in the early stages of disease, as well as to boost the effectiveness of vaccines that promote a specific adaptive immune response. This potential, while theoretical, is also worthy of further study,” said Dr. Konstantin Chumakov, Associate Director for Research for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Vaccines Research and Review, and a GVN Center Director.  “As we wrote last year in a perspective published in Science, studies with the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) from the 1960s and 1970s demonstrated nonspecific immune protection and found that OPV reduced the incidence of seasonal influenza and acute respiratory disease.”

In 2014, a World Health Organization (WHO)-commissioned review at the recommendation of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on vaccines (SAGE) concluded that LAVs reduced child mortality by more than expected. The same patterns were observed in high-income settings, including in the U.S., as having a live vaccine as the most recent vaccine being associated with a halving of the risk of hospitalization for non-targeted infections. The WHO review advised more research regarding the beneficial heterologous effects of LAVs; to date, no such WHO studies have been conducted.

The authors said that because of the huge toll that the current pandemic has taken on a global basis, looking into all possible options is essential. Despite the unprecedented brief time that it took to develop, test and deliver the current vaccines, it still took a year and a half and if LAVs could help stimulate innate immunity, they could help delay the global impact of a new pandemic while a new vaccine is being developed.

“There is immense readiness and massive financial support to develop and deliver the novel specific vaccines, but very little to test LAVs for use during a pandemic, despite their potential to prevent needless suffering and help mitigate social and economic carnage in any future pandemic. There are even some advantages in that they work very promptly, are low cost and likely to be readily available. Furthermore, their safety profile is often well-established. But we must acknowledge there are likely limitations because they do not last very long, perhaps only a few months, said Dr. Gallo.

“My esteemed colleagues and I are urgently calling on governments, philanthropy and non-profit foundations to support testing of an LAV strategy to determine whether LAVs can protect high-risk populations such as healthcare workers and the elderly as well as low-income populations worldwide, thereby reducing social and economic inequities.”

In addition to Dr. Robert Gallo, Dr. Konstantin Chumakov, Dr. Michael Avidan, and Dr. Dean Jamison, the authors of the PNAS viewpoint include Dr. Christine Benn of the Department of Clinical Research, GVN Center of Excellence, University of Southern Denmark; Dr. Mihai Netea of the Department of Internal Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, a GVN Center of Excellence; Dr. Annie Sparrow of the Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Dr. Stefano Bertozzi of the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley and the GVN; Dr. Lawrence Blatt of Aligos Therapeutics and the GVN; Dr. Angela Chang of the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, University of Southern Denmark; Dr. Shabaana Khader of the Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; and, Dr. Shyam Kottilil of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, GVN Center of Excellence.

Addendum Quotes

“LAVs against tuberculosis and smallpox have been associated with better long-term survival,” said Dr. Christine Benn of the Department of Clinical Research, GVN Center of Excellence, University of Southern Denmark. For example, OPV campaigns in West Africa have been associated with a 25% reduction in all-cause mortality, with each additional dose reducing mortality by a further 14%.”

“Several basic science observations make clear the central importance of innate immunity in controlling coronaviruses including SARS-1, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS,” said Dr. Mihai Netea of the Department of Internal Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, a GVN Center of Excellence. “Further, control of coronaviruses by bats is largely associated with an appropriate balancing of innate immune responses between resistance and tolerance.”

“It is critically important from both scientific and public health perspectives that we complete rigorous trials evaluating the effectiveness of LAVs in preventing COVID-19 or mitigating its severity,” said Dr. Annie Sparrow of the Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings from these trials will inform if, and how, we could incorporate LAVs into our toolkit against future pandemics.”

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 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 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

Media Contact:

Nora Samaranayake, GVN
443-823-0613
[email protected]

Global Virus Network (GVN) Announces Eight Distinguished International Appointments to Board of Directors

World Leaders in Business, Science, Law, Industry, Philanthropy & Government Are Committed to Supporting the GVN

Baltimore, MD, USA (April 6, 2021) – 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, today announced the election of eight distinguished global leaders to its Board of Directors.  They include Daniel J. Arbess, CIO of Xerion Investments, LLC and CEO of Xerion Precision Biosciences LLC;  Marc Bonneville, DVM, Scientific & Medical Director, Fondation Mérieux; Tomas Cihlar, PhD, Vice President, Virology, Gilead Sciences; Lan Kennedy-Davis, JD, Partner, RumbergerKirk; Yang Liu, PhD,  Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, OncoC4, Inc and Adjunct Professor, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; David Scheer, President, Scheer & Company, Inc.; Yiming Shao, MD, PhD, Chief Expert on AIDS, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Vice Chair, Chinese Microbiology Society and Chair Professor, Zhejiang University; Pan Zheng, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, OncoC4, Inc and Adjunct Professor, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder and Director, Global Virus Network (GVN) and the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder and Director, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, Tim Moynahan, Chairman, The Moynahan Law Firm and Chairman, GVN Board of Directors and Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, GVN President and Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters.

“One of the biggest lessons we learned after discovering the first human retroviruses, including co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS, and developing the HIV blood test, is that researchers need a GVN to share and disseminate important information seamlessly, without government politics or financial limitations,” said Dr. Robert Gallo.  “The current pandemic is yet another example of this urgent need, and I am pleased these new distinguished Board members value the work of the GVN from the past ten years and join us in our commitment to advance science and save lives.”

“I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and their expertise to advance the mission of the GVN,” said Tim Moynahan“Whether it is in the world of science, industry, law, government, business or philanthropy, each of these leaders and their expertise are essential global assets in the collective fight against viral threats around the world.”

“We are most pleased to welcome these distinguished new members to the GVN Board of Directors,” said Dr. Christian Bréchot“From the public to private sectors, GVN Board members contribute to the management of our organization and help grow our reach in both visibility and impact around the globe.”

“I am honored to contribute to GVN’s core mission of advancing collaborative science, global consensus, communication and pandemic preparedness,” said Daniel J. Arbess, CEO of Xerion Precision Biosciences, LLC.  Mr. Arbess is a multi-asset class investor, lawyer and social entrepreneur whose 35-year career has been defined by engagement as an adviser, investor and entrepreneur across of range of significant geopolitical, economic and healthcare developments.

“Joining the GVN network gives me the opportunity to learn more about this remarkable initiative and to participate in the major challenge of coordinating expertise to better prepare for future epidemics,” said Marc Bonneville, DVM, Scientific & Medical Director, Fondation Mérieux.  Dr. Bonneville is an accomplished immunologist with previous leadership positions at INSERM, Institut Mérieux and the Alliance for Research and Innovation of Healthcare Industries (ARIIS).

“I am excited to join the GVN board,” said Tomas Cihlar, PhD, Vice President, Virology, Gilead Sciences.   “It is dynamic and a quickly growing organization with a real impact not only on global virology science and education, but also on critical aspects of pandemic preparedness.”  Dr. Cihlar coordinates Gilead’s preclinical antiviral research across HIV, hepatitis, respiratory, and emerging viruses.  He has contributed to the development and regulatory approval of multiple antiviral therapies including many Gilead’s antiretrovirals and their combinations and led the preclinical and early clinical development of remdesivir.

“I am honored to work with such esteemed experts in their field and to be a part of GVN’s worldwide humanitarian efforts,” said Lan Kennedy-Davis, JD, Partner, RumbergerKirk.  Ms. Kennedy-Davis is a premier commercial litigation and corporate transactional attorney whose practice focuses on general and complex litigation and corporate transactions, including business and shareholder matters, intellectual property disputes, bankruptcy litigation and high stakes and assets family law cases. She has a strong business background, is an economist and a former business consultant to Fortune 500 companies and international entrepreneurs.

“We are so pleased to contribute our understanding of inflammation to a global effort to confront the heath challenges from viral infection,” said Yang Liu, PhD, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, OncoC4, Inc and Adjunct Professor, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Dr. Liu’s academic research includes the fundamental mechanisms of immune recognition, cell metabolism and cancer biology, and is a driving force in elucidating the mechanisms by which the innate immune system discriminates microbial infection and aseptic tissue injuries.

“I am proud to have been formally elected to serve on the Board of the GVN, an organization which has unique importance in the world today as we face the challenges of the current and potential future pandemics,” said David Scheer, President, Scheer & Company, Inc.  “I am particularly thrilled to work with the other members of the Board and with Bob Gallo, whom I have known since the late 1970s.” Mr. Scheer is an advisor and serial entrepreneur in the life sciences including building two antiviral drug development companies.  His career includes providing corporate strategic and transactional advisory services in the life sciences industry.  He also had a longstanding career in the global and public health arenas, working with some of the top researchers, thought-leaders.  He led a bioscience task force in Connecticut that gave rise to the Reopen CT Advisory Group, of which he served as a member, working with the State and its Governor to reopen in May of 2020.

“It is of paramount importance to keep a voice of independent virologists through the GVN in the era of viral pandemics and in a pan-politicized world,” said Yiming Shao, MD, PhD, Chief Expert on AIDS, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Vice Chair, Chinese Microbiology Society and Chair Professor, Zhejiang University.  “Only such a voice can help stop harmful, global conspiracies spreading during the COVID-19 pandemic and rightfully focus efforts to fight the virus together, instead of blaming each other.” Dr. Shao’s many accomplishments include isolating China’s first HIV strain, leading a national task force to build national laboratory networks for HIV diagnosis, molecular epidemiology and drug resistance surveillance, and conducting HIV vaccine research based on replicating vaccinia vector that concluded phase I/II clinical trials.  He serves on the WHO Vaccine Product Development for Vaccine Advisory Committee and HIV Cure Advisory Committee of International AIDS Society.

“We are delighted to be part of GVN to translate basic knowledge to clinical care of patients,” said Pan Zheng, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, OncoC4, Inc and Adjunct Professor, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Dr. Zheng’s academic research focuses on immuno-oncology and inflammation. Dr. Zheng was trained in anatomic and clinical pathology and is a board-certified Physician with the American Board of Pathology.

Both Drs. Liu and Zheng co-founded OcnoImmune, Inc. until its acquisition by Merck, Inc. Drs. Liu and Zheng designed and executed the clinical trials for the company, including most recently a Phase III clinical trial, in conjunction with colleagues at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, establishing strong therapeutic efficacy of CD24Fc for hospitalized severe and critical COVID-19 patients.

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 62 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

Media Contact:

Nora Samaranayake, GVN
[email protected]

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED VIROLOGIST CHRISTIAN BRÉCHOT APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL VIRUS NETWORK (GVN)

Brings Decades of Scientific & Organizational Leadership To Advance GVN’s Mission

Melbourne, Australia, September 25, 2017: The Global Virus Network (GVN), an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and wellbeing, today announced the appointment of Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD as President of the GVN.  Dr. Bréchot, who recently stepped down as President of France’s internationally renowned Institut Pasteur, will assume his new position with the GVN effective October 1, 2017.  The announcement was made during the opening address of the 9th International Global Virus Meeting in Melbourne, Australia by Prof. Robert Gallo, MD, the GVN’s co-founder and scientific director, and by Prof. Sharon Lewin, MD, PhD, director of The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a GVN Center of Excellence.

 

Said Dr. Gallo, who is also The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, “When the GVN was founded in 2011, our mandate was to safeguard mankind from potential catastrophic and devastating pandemic virus by coalescing the finest public health expertise in order to undertake collaborative research, to train the next generation of virologists as well as to catalyze, engender and foment advocacy amongst leaders of government, the private sector and the scientific community throughout the world.  While we have made great strides in the last six years, having the unprecedented expertise, inspired vision and consummate leadership of Dr. Bréchot, a man of extraordinary ability in public health and basic science virology, will enable the GVN to fulfill its mandate and realize its ultimate potential for the betterment of mankind,” continued Dr. Gallo.

 

“When Bob introduced me to the GVN, I was impressed with the phenomenal caliber of virologists deeply engaged and committed to the vision of the organization,” said Dr. Bréchot.  “The world needs the GVN’s network of invaluable, diversified experts to be talking to each other, sharing information freely, and mitigating and preparing for viral threats.  The GVN is an invaluable and critical global resource.  I look forward to helping the GVN grow and develop, both operationally and financially as well as to working with Bob Gallo without whom the GVN would not be possible.”

 

Prof. Lewin said, “I joined the GVN because I agreed with my colleagues that there is a palpable need to engage with and empower the world’s foremost virologists to address current and future pandemic threats. I am thrilled that Dr. Gallo and I have the honor of making this important announcement at the 9th International Global Virus Meeting. We are enthusiastic about working with Dr. Bréchot and the GVN to defend mankind from dangerous and deadly viruses.”

 

Since October 2013, Dr. Bréchot has served as President of the Institut Pasteur developing programs to recruit eminent scientists, implementing an international multidisciplinary education and teaching program, fostering collaborative research and training strategies with major universities and research organizations, coalescing the international network of 33 Pasteur Institutes to encompass a global scientific vision and coordinated training activities, and positioning an ambitious and internationally oriented strategy for technology transfer and fundraising.

 

Dr. Bréchot held previous leadership positions with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the Institut Mérieux, and the BIOASTER Technology Research Institute. He previously served as a university professor, hospital practitioner, and head of departments of hepatology and cell biology.  In 1982, Dr. Bréchot received a Doctor of Medicine from Paris Descartes University (Paris VII) and a PhD in biochemistry from the Paris Descartes University.  Throughout his career, Dr. Bréchot’s research has focused on viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly regarding their role in liver cancer and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer.  He is a member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received a myriad of prestigious awards.  Dr. Bréchot has authored more than 350 articles published in prestigious medical and scientific journals.

 

Dr. Gallo, who conceived and co-founded the GVN with William Hall, PhD of University College Dublin and the late Reinhard Kurth, PhD, of the Robert Koch Institut in Germany, is distinguished and revered for co-discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS and for developing the HIV blood test, along with colleagues from the Institut Pasteur. The GVN concept began back in the 1980’s when a small group of medical virologists realized that virtually no working virologist had a global directive for researching the cause of AIDS during the earliest years of the epidemic.  Conversely, important groups such as the World Health Organization which did have a global mandate for combatting the new disease had virtually no resident expertise in the kind of virus that was subsequently shown to be the cause of AIDS, namely, a retrovirus.  Examining the history of other great epidemics of the 20th century, Influenza, Polio, and the more recent outbreak of SARS as well as several other viruses, reveals similar disconnects between available expertise and the urgent public need to identify causation and prevention modes.

 

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, is an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and wellbeing.  Founded in 2011, the GVN was founded to safeguard mankind from potential catastrophic and devastating pandemic virus by coalescing the finest public health expertise in order to undertake collaborative research, to train the next generation of virologists as well as to catalyze, engender and foment advocacy amongst leaders of government, the private sector and the scientific community throughout the world.  It is the world’s only network of top basic medical virologists from around the globe covering all classes of human viral threats.  For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED VIROLOGIST CHRISTIAN BRÉCHOT

APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL VIRUS NETWORK (GVN)

 

Brings Decades of Scientific & Organizational Leadership To Advance GVN’s Mission

 

Melbourne, Australia, September 25, 2017: The Global Virus Network (GVN), an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and wellbeing, today announced the appointment of Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD as President of the GVN.  Dr. Bréchot, who recently stepped down as President of France’s internationally renowned Institut Pasteur, will assume his new position with the GVN effective October 1, 2017.  The announcement was made during the opening address of the 9th International Global Virus Meeting in Melbourne, Australia by Prof. Robert Gallo, MD, the GVN’s co-founder and scientific director, and by Prof. Sharon Lewin, MD, PhD, director of The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a GVN Center of Excellence.

 

Said Dr. Gallo, who is also The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, “When the GVN was founded in 2011, our mandate was to safeguard mankind from potential catastrophic and devastating pandemic virus by coalescing the finest public health expertise in order to undertake collaborative research, to train the next generation of virologists as well as to catalyze, engender and foment advocacy amongst leaders of government, the private sector and the scientific community throughout the world.  While we have made great strides in the last six years, having the unprecedented expertise, inspired vision and consummate leadership of Dr. Bréchot, a man of extraordinary ability in public health and basic science virology, will enable the GVN to fulfill its mandate and realize its ultimate potential for the betterment of mankind,” continued Dr. Gallo.

 

“When Bob introduced me to the GVN, I was impressed with the phenomenal caliber of virologists deeply engaged and committed to the vision of the organization,” said Dr. Bréchot.  “The world needs the GVN’s network of invaluable, diversified experts to be talking to each other, sharing information freely, and mitigating and preparing for viral threats.  The GVN is an invaluable and critical global resource.  I look forward to helping the GVN grow and develop, both operationally and financially as well as to working with Bob Gallo without whom the GVN would not be possible.”

 

Prof. Lewin said, “I joined the GVN because I agreed with my colleagues that there is a palpable need to engage with and empower the world’s foremost virologists to address current and future pandemic threats. I am thrilled that Dr. Gallo and I have the honor of making this important announcement at the 9th International Global Virus Meeting. We are enthusiastic about working with Dr. Bréchot and the GVN to defend mankind from dangerous and deadly viruses.”

 

Since October 2013, Dr. Bréchot has served as President of the Institut Pasteur developing programs to recruit eminent scientists, implementing an international multidisciplinary education and teaching program, fostering collaborative research and training strategies with major universities and research organizations, coalescing the international network of 33 Pasteur Institutes to encompass a global scientific vision and coordinated training activities, and positioning an ambitious and internationally oriented strategy for technology transfer and fundraising.

 

Dr. Bréchot held previous leadership positions with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the Institut Mérieux, and the BIOASTER Technology Research Institute. He previously served as a university professor, hospital practitioner, and head of departments of hepatology and cell biology.  In 1982, Dr. Bréchot received a Doctor of Medicine from Paris Descartes University (Paris VII) and a PhD in biochemistry from the Paris Descartes University.  Throughout his career, Dr. Bréchot’s research has focused on viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly regarding their role in liver cancer and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer.  He is a member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received a myriad of prestigious awards.  Dr. Bréchot has authored more than 350 articles published in prestigious medical and scientific journals.

 

Dr. Gallo, who conceived and co-founded the GVN, is distinguished and revered for co-discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS and for developing the HIV blood test, along with colleagues from the Institut Pasteur.  The GVN concept began back in the 1980’s when a small group of medical virologists realized that virtually no working virologist had a global directive for researching the cause of AIDS during the earliest years of the epidemic.  Conversely, important groups such as the World Health Organization which did have a global mandate for combatting the new disease had virtually no resident expertise in the kind of virus that was subsequently shown to be the cause of AIDS, namely, a retrovirus.  Examining the history of other great epidemics of the 20th century, Influenza, Polio, and the more recent outbreak of SARS as well as several other viruses, reveals similar disconnects between available expertise and the urgent public need to identify causation and prevention modes.

 

Prominent Virologist Stanley Plotkin Joins GVN as Senior Advisor

Baltimore, MD: January 14, 2014 ;The Global Virus Network (GVN) is honored to have Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin, Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania and consultant to all of the major vaccine manufacturers, serve as a senior advisor. Dr. Plotkin is world renowned for his development of the rubella vaccine- now in standard use throughout the world, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including polio, rabies, varicella, rotavirus and cytomegalovirus.

 
“I am happy to join such a distinguished group of virologists,” said Dr. Plotkin.
 
“Stan is one of the most experienced and wisest of virologists who will be invaluable to the GVN objectives,” said GVN co-founder and scientific director Dr. Robert Gallo.
 
“Stan’s encyclopedic knowledge of viruses and their modes of transmission will be of enormous help in guiding the Scientific Leadership Board of GVN when decisions have to be made to limit the expansion of existing epidemics or curb the outbreak of newly emerging viruses,” said fellow GVN co-founder, Dr. Reinhard Kurth, Chairman of the Foundation Council, Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlin, Germany.
 

Gallo reflects on 30 years in HIV research

Gallo reflects on 30 years in HIV research

 

Dan Rodricks, of the Baltimore Sun in January 4 th interview of Dr. Robert Gallo, and discusses the current advances leading to a “functional cure” .

Gallo Speaks to Dan Rodricks

Dr. Gallo spoke about the beginning of AIDS, the need for the next generation of trained virologists, the creation of the Global Virus Network, viruses in general, IHV’s HIV preventive vaccine candidate, a PEPFAR for the U.S., among other important issues.  At the end, the reporter thanks Gallo and his team for choosing the University of Maryland. If you get a moment, please tune in here: http://programs.wypr.org/podcast/dr-robert-gallo-thurs-december-19-12-1-pm