Six Internationally Renowned Virus Research Institutions Join the Global Virus Network to Combat Viral Diseases

GVN Adds Four Centers of Excellence and Two Affiliates from India, Peru, Republic of Uzbekistan, South Korea, United States and Zimbabwe

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, October 24, 2019: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 52 Centers of Excellence and 9 Affiliates in 32 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans and animals, announced today the addition of four new Centers of Excellence including, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (An Institution of eminence deemed to be University), The Tropical Medicine Institute “Alexander von Humboldt” of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, the Korea National Institute of Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and two Affiliates, the Research Institute of Virology Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory and Clinical Trials Research Center Virology Program at the University of Zimbabwe. The announcement was made by Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN and Robert Gallo, MD, Co-Founder and Chairman of the International Scientific Leadership Board of the GVN.

“The GVN continues to serve as a catalyst uniquely connecting top virus research institutions from around the world to build collaborative, effective alliances and eradicate viral threats. In fact, these six Centers and Affiliates perfectly illustrate this concept, combining Centers with highly complementary skills, from all over the world,” said Bréchot, who is also Professor at the University of South Florida. “We support current organizations such as the World Health Organization and stand ready to serve as global first-responders to dangerous viruses and operate as an international clearinghouse to educate, inform and disseminate critical information to governments, health organizations, healthcare practitioners and the public-at-large.”

“Since HIV/AIDS first appeared, I strongly have believed mankind will best be served if the world’s leading virologists are organized and better equipped to deal with existing and new viral threats,” said Gallo, who is also The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Director, Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “These diverse new members of the GVN add depth of expertise and global reach to our network. They will help us better combat viral threats and train the next generation of virologists.”

The Manipal Institute of Virology (MIV) GVN Center of Excellence is led by Arunkumar Govindakarnavar, PhD, MSc, BSc, Professor and Director, MIV, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). MIV is a regional center for diagnostic virology and research, and the regional reference laboratory for Influenza viruses and an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Grade I Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) supported by the Department of Health Research (DHR), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) Apex referral laboratory for arboviruses, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and Government of India (GOI). Apart from disease diagnostics, MIV supports the state and national health services for outbreak investigations. MIV has established 33 surveillance centers in hospitals across 16 districts of 10 states capable of detecting and responding to viruses and bacteria.

“MIV was instrumental in confirming more than 150 viral outbreaks, and closely involved in outbreaks including the Nipah virus, Zika virus, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, Hepatitis A virus and Kyasanur Forest Disease,” said Arunkumar. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with the GVN and launching new collaborations to advance the field in our area of expertise in virology.”

The Tropical Medicine Institute “Alexander von Humboldt” of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia GVN Center of Excellence is led by Eduardo Gotuzzo, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FESCMID, Emeritus Professor, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. The Institute is multidisciplinary, specializing in infectious and tropical diseases, with global leadership that conducts research, innovates and diversifies, and promotes public policies and technology transfer contributing to Peru’s development. The Institute specializes in HTLV and its clinical complications, HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral drug therapy, human rhinovirus, hepatitis B and some C viruses, and arboviruses such as Zika virus.

“We have a large HTLV patient cohort and are the country’s most experienced in treating patients with HIV/AIDS, which unfortunately continues to grow due to the significant migration of people from Venezuela,” said Gotuzzo. “The GVN will provide a unique opportunity to advance our studies and international collaborations as well as unique training opportunities.”

The Korea National Institute of Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research GVN Center of Excellence is led by Youngmee Jee MD, PhD, Director, Center for Infectious Diseases Research (CID), Korea National Institute of Health (KNIH). KNIH is the only national public health research institution to produce scientific evidence to shape public health policies. The CID, one of three research centers at KNIH, is responsible for research on infectious diseases caused by viral and bacterial pathogens with four primary goals: (1) to enhance the national capacity responding to infectious disease threats, (2) to efficiently control emerging and acute/chronic infectious diseases, (3) to explore infectious diseases affecting human health in relation to climate change, (4) to establish national and international networks through collaborative studies on infectious diseases, and (5) to collect and manage human pathogen resources in Korea.

“I participated in the GVN’s international meeting last June in Barcelona and found the sessions and shared expertise very valuable,” said Jee. “Our broad experience with various global research intuitions such as the World Health Organization and fellow Korean GVN Center of Excellence, the International Vaccine Institute, will deepen GVN’s expertise and advance basic and applied research on emerging viruses and acute and chronic viruses through new collaborations with GVN members.”

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University GVN Center of Excellence is led by Founding Director Donald Ingber, MD, PhD, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School, Senior Associate in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Wyss Institute leverages recent insights into how nature builds, controls and manufactures to develop new engineering innovations – a new field of research the Institute refers to as Biologically Inspired Engineering. By emulating biological principles of self-assembly, organization and regulation, the Institute is developing disruptive technology solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics and manufacturing, which are translated into commercial products and therapies through the formation of new startups and corporate alliances. The Institute’s unique Organ-on-a-Chip (Organ Chip) technology enables modeling of human tissues with in vivo-like architectures and physiologies to study viral infection, propagation, evolution, patient-to-patient transmission and host responses in vitro. Wyss Institute researchers are leveraging human Organ Chips and a variety of its other core technologies in a highly multi-disciplinary approach to create rapid, sensitive, and highly specific diagnostics for detection of viruses, broad spectrum anti-virus vaccines, new antiviral therapeutics, novel drug- and gene-delivering viral vectors, and, culture-free viral infectivity assays.

“We offer the GVN a truly unique skill set in bioengineering and technology innovation that will nicely complement the more classic virology focus of most other members of the network, as well as numerous powerful enabling technologies that GVN members should find extremely useful,” said Ingber. “We look forward to the GVN helping us to identify relevant funding opportunities and sources of clinical samples, and to team with us to build stronger consortia around specific problems, and if possible, to provide support for fellows and trainees.”

The Research Institute of Virology Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which is led by Musabaev Erkin Isakovich, PhD, Professor, Research Institute of Virology of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is an Affiliate through GVN Centers of Excellence, Istituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione Pascale” National Cancer Institute, Russian Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza (SRII) and Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The Institute comprises a laboratory of new and re-emerging viral infections (in the structure of National Influenza Center), a reference laboratory, scientific departments, department of molecular-genetic analysis and cultural research, an international department, in-patient department (hospital), including 200 beds to treat infectious disease patients, laboratory-diagnostic and auxiliary departments and rooms and an ambulatory-out-patient diagnostical hepatology center. The Institute’s expertise includes viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis with viral etiology, HIV/AIDS, new and re-emerging infections, influenza, and intestinal infections.

“We are pleased to join with three renowned GVN Centers of Excellence to become an Affiliate member of the GVN,” said Isakovich. “The GVN will provide opportunities in information sharing and collaborations on research, grants, projects and training initiatives, particularly in the area of scientific exchanges between fellows.”

The Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory and Clinical Trials Research Center Virology Program at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), which is led by Charles Chiedza Maponga, PharmD, MHPE, Director, GVN Affiliate at UZ and Justen Manasa, PhD, Co-Director, Virology, Genetics, is an Affiliate through GVN Center of Excellence, University at Buffalo HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory. UZ is home to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDS Clinical Trials Unit that conducts research with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) HIV Research networks including the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) and Microbial Trials Network (MTN). In addition, UZ has a NIAID HIV Clinical Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory. Research priorities include HIV, HCV, HPV and other global virus research agendas. The Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory is home to a Fogarty-supported HIV Clinical Pharmacology Research Program that is conducted in collaboration with the University at Buffalo. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic has continued to impact developing countries, the need for training in HIV/AIDS Clinical Pharmacology has also expanded in scope, including in clinical expertise such as cancer, behavioral sciences, Alzheimer’s disease, nanomedicine and pediatrics.

“We have a productive collaboration with the GVN Center of Excellence University of Buffalo HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory and are thrilled to grow our relationship into the GVN as an Affiliate,” said Maponga and Manasa. “Not only do we have a regional capacity to substantively contribute to global research through the GVN, but we welcome training exchange programs that expand our breadth of expertise.”

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 52 Centers of Excellence and 9 Affiliates in 32 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
410-706-8614
nsamaranayake@gvn.org

University of Nebraska Medical Center, West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens and Colombia-Wisconsin One-Health Consortium Join Renowned Global Virus Network to Combat Viral Diseases

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, November 13, 2018: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 45 Centers of Excellence and 7 Affiliates in 29 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, announced today the addition of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana and Colombia-Wisconsin One-Health Consortium (CWOHC) as its newest Centers of Excellence. The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, GVN Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor and Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, GVN President.

“We are very pleased to add these three valuable institutions to our growing international network,” said Dr. Gallo, who is also The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “UNMC, among other things, will deepen our expertise in improved therapies against HIV and biosecurity while WACCBIP and CWOHC will extend GVN’s reach in Africa and South America respectively.”

“Joining these new Centers to our network is an important step for GVN’s development,” said Dr. Bréchot, who is also Professor at the University of South Florida and Executive Director of the Romark Company Institute for Medical Research. “Indeed, the GVN is reinforcing its expertise in biosecurity by merging Centers such as the UNMC to those working in the most basic aspects of research on human viruses, and the GVN is reinforcing its presence in Africa and South America by integrating WACCBIP and CWOHC, thus allowing a strong global approach to the major threats posed by several human viruses.”

The UNMC GVN Center of Excellence will be led by Christopher Kratochvil, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research, UNMC, Vice President for Research, Nebraska Medicine, Chief Medical Officer, UNeHealth and Howard Gendelman, MD, Margaret R. Larson Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience. UNMC has a long history of significant viral research activities, leading a unique array of initiatives that include innovative basic and translational research, a special pathogens clinical trials network and multiple global public health initiatives. In addition to research, the new Center promotes capacity building through onsite training at UNMC, external collaborations with major U.S. and global pharmaceutical facilities and the capacity to produce products onsite and in supporting institutions located in resource-poor nations. UNMC also composes the Global Center for Health Security (GCHS), which includes one of the largest clinical biocontainment units in the country and is constructing the federal government’s 20-bed national quarantine center merging biosecurity and biodefense initiatives.

“We look forward to working with the GVN to establish and foster further collaborations domestically and abroad, in multiple domains to include drug development, research, training and education in the areas of biocontainment and antiviral therapeutics,” said Drs. Kratochvil and Gendelman. “The breadth of activities from both of our organizations is significant, and significantly overlapping. We also look forward to working with the GVN to develop medicines for the treatment, prevention and elimination of viral diseases through the use of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s antiviral production facilities.”

The WACCBIP’s GVN Center of Excellence will be led by Gordon Awandare, BSc, MPhil, PhD, Unit Director of the GVN-WACCBIP, Associate Professor and Director of WACCBIP, University of Ghana and Osbourne Quaye, BSc, MSc, PhD, Center Director of the GVN-WACCIBIP and Head, Virology Laboratory, WACCBIP, University of Ghana. WACCBIP’s research focuses on the areas of disease pathogenesis and immunity, pathogen biology and genomics, host/pathogen interactions, molecular diagnosis, molecular epidemiology for surveillance, drug discovery and vaccine development. WACCBIP trains high-level health professionals and biomedical scientists on cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens through MPhil, PhD and post-doctoral programs and workshops, and serves as a core facility with state-of-the-art biomedical laboratories to support infectious disease research in the sub-region. The Centre also has a Biomedical High-Performance Computing Unit that provides cluster computing services to promote teaching, research, and dissemination of information among health professionals and academics, and serves as a focal point for enhancing collaboration among biomedical scientists and biotechnology companies.

“We look forward to serving as a resource to our colleagues in the GVN,” said Drs. Awandare and Quaye. “Further, we look to the GVN to support our training programs that foster world-class research excellence with national, regional and international partnerships, thereby improving diagnosis, prevention, and control of diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The CWOHC GVN Center of Excellence, a collaboration between the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Ruta N Corporation of Colombia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be led by Jorge Osorio, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The CWOHC focuses on emerging viral diseases including the characterization of Zika virus, dengue virus, other arboviruses, and human and animal influenza viruses. CWOHC also studies the development of novel vaccines for dengue, influenza, Zika, rabies, hand-foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever. To characterize host responses and protection, CWOHC developed animal models for a variety of pathogens including Zika, chikungunya, dengue, influenza, monkeypox and enteroviruses.

“The University of Wisconsin’s extensive research collaborations of studying emerging viral diseases with Colombia dates back more than 47 years,” said Dr. Osorio. “Colombia is a unique country that will be a terrific collaborator for other members of the GVN. Its strategic geographical location, the combination of the tropical environment, megadiversity, vast range of microclimates and ecosystems, including the Amazonia and Orinoquia, the mountains and cordilleras, the Sierras [Nevada of Santa Marta, de la Macarena, Perijá] and the two oceans generate an enormous amount of biological research and discovery. In addition, we look forward to opening doors for regional partnerships and strengthening local networks to build and improve scientific capacity in South America and Colombia.”

For a listing of all GVN Member institutions, click here.

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 42 Centers of Excellence and 7 Affiliates in 27 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.

Global Virus Network (GVN) Centers of Excellence Contribute Expertise to Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala, India

In the wake of the outbreak, the Government of Kerala is fast-tracking the launch of the Institute of Advanced Virology, which will house a unit of the GVN

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 5, 2018: Several of the Global Virus Network’s (GVN) Centers of Excellence have been researching Nipah virus (NiV) and are currently contributing expertise to the outbreak in the Indian state of Kerala.  India’s latest deadly NiV outbreak began in early May.  The GVN represents 41 Centers of Excellence and 7 affiliates in 26 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

“GVN members are providing scientific, clinical and epidemiological expertise in addition to reagents to laboratories in the field,” said Prof. Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN.  “Indian government agencies responding to the NiV outbreak have done a fantastic job implementing quarantine procedures and other effective forms of infection control.”

According to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as of June 2, 2018, there are 19 reported patient cases, 18 of which were confirmed in the laboratory, and 17 of which are deceased. Clinical presentation of NiV ranges from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.  Death rates, as in this outbreak and the 2015 outbreak in the Philippines, can exceed 80%.

“There is a great need to advance the science in the study of Nipah virus,” said Robert C. Gallo, MD, who is Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor of the GVN and The Homer & Martha Gudeslky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.  “Currently, there is no human or animal treatment or vaccine.  GVN members look forward to working with organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to quickly advance effective therapeutics and vaccine candidates.”

“A targeted recombinant human monoclonal antibody therapy, which is in the process of being brought to Kerala, has proven to be effective in animal models and has passed a Phase I clinical trial,” said Benhur Lee, MD, Professor, Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a Global Virus Network (GVN) Center of Excellence.  “Further, there are several forms of recombinant vaccines proven to be effective in animal models.  We, and other members of the GVN, look forward to working with local and international organizations to advance the science.”

NiV was first detected during a major infectious disease outbreak in Malaysia in 1998-9 and named after the Sungai Nipah village on the banks of the Nipah River in Malaysia. Studies from past human infection outbreaks in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, show that the virus can be transmitted to humans by three different routes: 1) from bats to humans who are in contact with virus-contaminated material (e.g., date palm sap); 2) from intermediate hosts such as pigs and horses; and, 3) from infected humans.

“We need to better understand what is causing Nipah virus spillover from animals and the exact transmission route for the index of human cases so that we can prevent future outbreaks,” said Linfa Wang, PhD, Professor & Director, Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, a Center of Excellence applicant of the GVN.  “There are potential unknown intermediate and amplifying hosts in different ecological, social, cultural and farming settings that we need to identify.  We can also help develop rapid diagnostic tests for developing nations and provide education guidelines and technical guidance.”

Since the outbreak, the Government of Kerala announced that it will fast-track the founding of Kerala’s Institute of Advanced Virology (IAV) at the Life Sciences Park at Thonnakkal. IAV, which aims to open in December, will house a unit of the GVN.  IAV will comprise eight laboratories for advanced research in clinical virology, viral diagnostics, viral vaccines, anti-viral drug research, viral applications, viral epidemiology, vector dynamics, virus genomics, bioinformatics and general virology.

“We are pleased to be working with the government of Kerala in founding the IAV,” said MV Pillai, MD, Clinical Professor of Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University and a Senior Advisor to the GVN.  “Through IAV, the GVN will bring world-class expertise to the state of Kerala, so that Kerala can begin to address its own epidemics, such as this Nipah virus outbreak, and start to contribute to virology at an international level.”

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 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.

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.

Global Virus Network Adds Uganda Virus Research Institute as Newest Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Entebbe, Uganda, May 29, 2018: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) announced today the induction of the Institute as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 41 Centers of Excellence and 7 affiliates in 26 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, PhD, MBChB.

 

The announcement was made by Prof. Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder and International Scientific Advisor of the Global Virus Network, Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, PhD, MBChB, director of UVRI and director of the Medical Research Council/ Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit, and Prof. Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, president of the Global Virus Network.  Prof. Kaleebu will be director of UVRI’s GVN Center of Excellence.

 

“We are pleased to grow our reach in Africa, and look forward to working with Prof. Kaleebu and UVRI, particularly on emerging and re-emerging viruses,” said Gallo, also The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.  “My colleagues and I felt strongly that UVRI would contribute greatly to the depth of the GVN, not only in its significant expertise but to Uganda’s surrounding region.”

 

UVRI is internationally recognized for research on arboviruses, HIV infection, and emerging and re-emerging infections.  The Institute provides routine surveillance of arboviral infections and their vectors, including epidemic outbreak investigations and research, and it contributes knowledge on the evolving HIV epidemic, innovative health care options, including treatment and prevention, and, studies on HIV vaccine research and development. UVRI’s mandate includes control of vector-borne diseases, such as Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs), surveillance of viral diseases at the human and wild animal interface, and, mapping of human and animal populations at risk of viral infections. The Institute is also involved in surveillance and research on vaccine-preventable diseases, including enteroviruses, with a focus on polio, rotaviruses, measles, and measles-like illnesses such as rubella.

 

“We are very excited to join this international community of medical virologists,” said Prof. Kaleebu.  “We are hopeful this will provide our Institute and its scientists better opportunities to fulfil the mandate to conduct research and surveillance into viral diseases in order to promote a healthy and productive life, but also to strengthen research capacity.”

 

“This partnership recognizes the scientific and public health impact of UVRI and is an important step for the development of the GVN in Africa,” said Bréchot. “The partnership also builds upon GVN’s difficult and necessary work in merging the efforts of French, English, and Portuguese-speaking scientific and medical communities in Africa and other regions of the world.”

 

UVRI was established in 1936 by the Rockefeller Foundation to study the transmission of Yellow Fever. Before being renamed UVRI, the Institute’s founding name was the Yellow Fever Research Institute, and later the East African Virus Research Institute, when new viruses such as West Nile, Semliki Forest, Zika and Bunyamwera were first isolated at this Institute. Currently, UVRI hosts many national and regional reference laboratories including the national reference laboratories for HIV testing and quality assurance, the HIV drug resistance national and regional reference laboratory, the national and regional reference laboratory for the Expanded Programme on Immunization, and, viral heamorrhagic fever national laboratories.  Recently, UVRI was assessed to become the World Health Organization (WHO) Yellow fever reference laboratory.

 

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 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.

 

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.

 

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 26 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.

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 h-sawa@czc.hokudai.ac.jp
GVN Contact: Nora Grannell, +1 443 823 0613 or ngrannell@gvn.org

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 Adds Emory University as a Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Atlanta, GA, USA, Sept. 1, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and Emory University announced today the induction of Emory as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 37 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 International Scientific Advisor of GVN, Raymond Schinazi, PhD, DSc, the Frances Winship Walters Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology at Emory University, and Carlos del Rio, MD, the Hubert Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Schinazi and del Rio will be co-directors of Emory’s GVN Center of Excellence.

Emory is renowned for its leading research programs that focus on various viruses including HIV/SIV, hepatitis B and C, dengue, herpes, Zika, influenza, norovirus, Ebola, chikungunya and West Nile viruses.

“Emory has broad outstanding virology and immunology research programs, but when it comes to HIV I know of no place with more serious contributors to the field than those at Emory,” said Gallo, who is co-discoverer of HIV and director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.

“From Ray Schinazi and Dennis Liotta’s pioneering drug development, to Carlos del Rio and Susan Allen’s important epidemiology, clinical and prevention research with some of the most vulnerable populations, to the molecular virology work of Eric Hunter and Cynthia Derdeyn, to the fundamental immunology of Max Cooper and Rafi Ahmed, to the critical studies on HIV pathogenesis of Guido Silvestri, to the vaccinology science research of Mark Mulligan and Rama Amara and unforgettably the tremendous contributions from James Curran on the early epidemiology of HIV. It is about time to have this great university as part of the GVN.”

”It is an honor to be included in the Global Virus Network,” says Schinazi, “and we look forward to increased collaborations with researchers around the world that can lead to new therapies and preventive strategies for the many challenging viruses we face. Institutions and scientists who work together can accomplish a great deal more than can any researcher or organization working individually.”

Numerous components of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (including the Emory Vaccine Center, the Emory Center for AIDS Research, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Emory Global Health Institute, Emory Institute for Drug Development, Tropical Infectious Diseases Program, Virology and Molecular Biomarkers Core, Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Prevention Research Center), and the Emory schools of medicine, public health and nursing all have contributed to the development of successful programs in virology that span basic laboratory research, clinical research, and behavioral science. Emory University has established collaborations with other Atlanta-based universities including Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech Partnership) and Morehouse School of Medicine (Prevention Research Center, PRC).

“Our programs in virology, including education, research, and patient care, have contributed to lifesaving global advances, and we are very pleased to contribute our knowledge, expertise and partnership to the future efforts of the GVN,” says del Rio.

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.

Dr. Robert Gallo is presenting the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lecture at 4 p.m. today on “Virus Epidemics with Special Emphasis on HIV and AIDS: Reflections on the Past and Prospects for the Future.” It will be held at Emory’s Health Sciences Research Building Auditorium, 1760 Haygood Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322 and is free and open to the Emory community and the public.

Gallo will present reflections on the past and areas where we might have done better. He will discuss the great contributions in the field of HIV research and where we are today as well as a view of the key problems for the future. He will provide background on the special aspects of this kind of virus, namely a retrovirus, and his earlier discovery of the first known human retroviruses, human T cell leukemia virus-1, or HTLV-1, as well as HTLV-2.  He will end his lecture presenting on the direction research is headed, the Institute of Human Virology’s HIV vaccine, including where it is today (phase 1 human clinical trials) and the difficulties facing the field in the future.

About Emory University

Emory University, located in Atlanta, GA, encompasses outstanding undergraduate institutions, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. Emory includes nine academic divisions as well as The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive health care system. Emory University Hospital has affiliations with Grady Hospital (urban Community Hospital) and close proximity and collaborations with the adjacent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Top Virologists Meet in China to Address Threats

Top Virologists of the Global Virus Network (GVN) Meet in China to Address Threats

The Addition of Two GVN Centers of Excellence Strengthen GVN’s Worldwide Reach

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, May 11, 2015: 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, in partnership with Beijing University of Technology, a GVN Center of Excellence, will host its 7th meeting of top virologists May 16-19, 2015 in Beijing, China. The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, GVN Co-Founder and Scientific Director, Yi Zeng, MD, PhD, GVN China’s Center of Excellence Director and the GVN President. They also announced the addition of two new GVN Centers of Excellence including the University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York (SUNY), USA and the Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), Barcelona, Spain. Since its founding in 2011, GVN has grown to include 34 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, comprising expertise in all classes of human viruses.

“I am pleased to join my friend and colleague, Professor Yi Zeng, in hosting this important meeting as these personal, face-to-face interactions among our colleagues are integral to sharing information and inspiring international collaborations that otherwise might not exist,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “China has been involved with GVN from the very inception, and Professor Yi Zeng has been and continues to be a valued and honored GVN leader as well as a member of the Scientific Leadership Board, which reviews all prospective Centers.“

“China is honored to host this meeting of the GVN,” said Professor Yi Zeng, Honorary Dean at the College of Life Sciences and Bioengineering at Beijing University of Technology and Chief Scientist and Professor at the Institute of Viral Diseases Control and Prevention China, a GVN Center of Excellence. “We are committed to working closely with our colleagues at the GVN and strengthening ties with the internationally renowned scholars who comprise the network.”

Members of the GVN will exchange ideas on viruses including HPV and Esophageal Carcinoma, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, emerging viruses, Measles, MERS, Dengue, Chikungunya, HTLV, Influenza, Hemorrhagic Fever viruses – including Ebola, among other viruses, and viral diagnostics. Other prominent virologists participating in the meeting include Dianne Griffin, MD, PhD of GVN’s Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA, who is a renowned measles expert and Ab Osterhaus, DVM, PhD, of GVN’s Center of Excellence at University of Veterinary Medicine, Germany, who is a renowned coronavirus expert (SARS, MERS). They will discuss many viral challenges China shares with other nations, including the rise of measles and the threat of coronaviruses.

“We are honored to be hosted in China, where the tradition of supporting virology in China is strong and the tradition of international cooperation stronger still,” added GVN’s President.   ”This meeting in China paves the way for onward collaborations and strengthening of our global safety net against viral disease threats. It is the first time that the GVN has met outside of the U.S. or Europe, and we are delighted to be in Asia.”

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.

 

Moscow Meeting of Top Virus Researchers Catalyzes Global Collaborations

September 26, 2013 11:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Members of the Global Virus Network (GVN), which includes foremost experts in every class of human virus, and represents more than 20 countries, met in Moscow this month to share information on devastating viral threats. Top scientists shared intelligence on an array of diseases threatening global health, including China’s H7N9 influenza epidemic, the alarming rise in measles cases in Europe and the United States, the unexpected re-emergence of polio, and insidious viruses causing cancer lymphomas, to name a few. Robert C. Gallo, MD, GVN Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor, said, “The scientific presentations at the meeting were terrific and varied. The meeting helped forge collaborations around the world that might not otherwise exist. For example, during the meeting we launched an important training program between researchers and clinicians at our Institute in Baltimore and with those in Moscow and surrounding regions in Russia.”

“Research presented in Moscow was very stimulating, and Moscow served as a catalyst for scientific collaborations that would not otherwise have been initiated”

Newly elected Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors ,Chief Executive Officer of Burrill & Company, said, “What once was a regional epidemic today grows exponentially into a global threat due to international travel, trade and other factors. A strong, interconnected network of medical virologists – a GVN – is mankind’s best defense against new and existing viral threats.” Burrill continued, “In Moscow, we strengthened our network through scientist-to-scientist exchanges on drug and vaccine development on a range of critical viral diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, measles, influenza, enterovirus, polio hemorrhagic fever and the 20% of cancers caused by viruses. Face-to-face meetings of scientists are essential in pushing knowledge forward. Our gathering of world leaders in medical virology is a vital element to success against viral foes.”

Co-founded in 2011 by Dr. Gallo, most widely known for his pioneering discoveries of the first human retroviruses, co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS, and development of the HIV blood test, and his colleagues William Hall, MD, PhD, Chair of Medical Microbiology and Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases at University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Medicine and Medical Science in Dublin, Ireland, and Reinhard Kurth, MD, former Director of the Paul Ehrlich Institute and the Robert Koch Institute and Chairman of the Foundation Council at Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlin, Germany, GVN fulfills the need for substantive increases in global collaboration to overcome gaps in research during the earliest phases of viral epidemics and medical training programs enhancing the numbers of rising medical virologists trained to meet these challenges.

“Research presented in Moscow was very stimulating, and Moscow served as a catalyst for scientific collaborations that would not otherwise have been initiated,” said Gallo, also Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We are all very grateful to our GVN Russian Center of Excellence Head and host of the meeting, Alexey Mazus, MD, Chief Expert on HIV/AIDS for the Russian Federation Ministry of Health and Head of the Moscow Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment. We look forward to launching our new collaboration.”

GVN President welcomed the announcement by Dr. Mazus explaining that the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will serve as the first training site for young Russian scientists.  The President continued,  “In addition to training in clinical virology, we hope to expand our relationship with the Russian GVN to include training for post-doctoral research fellows and other scholarships in medical virology, building on the strong foundation in virology already present in Russia.”

In addition to the Russian GVN and IHV GVN Center of Excellence collaboration announcement, IHV Associate Director and Director of the Clinical Care and Research Division, Robert Redfield, MD and his John Hopkins University colleague John Bartlett, MD and Dr. Mazus released a Russian clinical training book, “Medical Management of HIV Infection,” in partnership with the GVN.

GVN will hold its next meeting in Xi’an, China in May 2014.