Global Virus Network (GVN) Adds the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) as Newest Member to Combat Viral Threats

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, February 8, 2021: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 68 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 36 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, and the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) in Durban announced the addition of CAPRISA as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence.

“CAPRISA is a world leader in HIV and SARS-CoV-2 research, positioned in an integral region to pandemics and virus surveillance, and led by a renowned clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific and leadership contributions in AIDS and COVID-19,” said 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.  “We are so pleased to finally officially add CAPRISA’s extensive expertise to the GVN.”

CAPRISA was created in 2001 and formally established in 2002 under the NIH-funded Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA) by five partner institutions; University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Columbia University in New York. CAPRISA is a designated UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy; and is the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation ‘s designated Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention.  The main goal of CAPRISA is to undertake globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributes to understanding HIV and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention and treatment. CAPRISA conducts research in four main scientific programs namely: HIV and Covid-19 pathogenesis and vaccines; HIV and TB treatment; HIV epidemiology and prevention; and SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology, prevention and vaccines.

Research activities at CAPRISA are supported by eight support cores including, administration, statistics, data management, laboratory, community, pharmacy, bioethics, and information systems.

The fiduciary and policy oversight of CAPRISA is governed by the Board of Control with senior industry officials. The CAPRISA Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by Nobel Laureate, Professor Françoise BarréSinoussi, Emeritus Professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, which is also a GVN Center of Excellence.

Under the leadership of the GVN-CAPRISA Director, the newest GVN Center of Excellence is comprised of experienced senior researchers/investigators with deep expertise in three virus areas including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), SARS-CoV-2 and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). In addition, CAPRISA hosts an epidemic intelligence unit, led by senior statisticians, who support data analytics across all three areas. The latest GVN Center is led by Salim S. Abdool Karim, MD, PhD, FRS, is a South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific contributions and leadership in AIDS and Covid-19.  He is the Director of CAPRISA, Durban and CAPRISA Professor of Global Health at Columbia University, New York, Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, Boston, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, New York, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. He is a member of the WHO Science Council and Vice-President of the International Science Council.  He is also a member of the African Task Force for Coronavirus and a Commissioner on the Lancet Commission on Covid-19. He was the Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.

“CAPRISA is a leading South African academic research center that is fully committed to collaborating with the GVN in HIV, HPV and SARS-CoV-2 research and training opportunities,” said Dr. Abdool Karim.  “We envision a mutually beneficial association with the GVN, including collaborations on researcher exchange programs, training of basic scientists in laboratory techniques at GVN supported laboratories and provisions of field experience in the conduct of clinical trials at CAPRISA, among other opportunities.”

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 68 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 36 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]

Global Virus Network (GVN) Adds the Scientific Platform Pasteur-University of São Paulo as Newest Member to Mitigate Viral Threats

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, January 26, 2022: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 67 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 36 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, and the Scientific Platform Pasteur-University of São Paulo (SPPU) announced the addition of the SPPU as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence.

“We are extremely pleased to bring Brazil back into the GVN through the distinguished SPPU,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, who is President of the GVN and Professor at the University of South Florida.  “We look forward to this collaboration establishing a stronger, strategic presence in Brazil, and moreover, South America, as this region is integral in mitigating global, viral threats.”

The SPPU’s research encompasses emerging and neglected infectious diseases that are transmitted by pathogens causing complex immune responses, producing nervous system disorders, and impacting human and animal public health. The SPPU works as an Emergency Cell and its main objective is to curb epidemics of those diseases by developing preventive, diagnostic/prognostic, and therapeutic methods. Located at the University of São Paulo, in São Paulo State (Brazil), in a 1,700 m² area, the Platform consists of 17 laboratories, four of which are biosecurity level 3 (NB3) – comparable to the European standard. The SPPU researchers closely share their areas of expertise, infrastructure, and cutting-edge equipment to strengthen the development of joint initiatives with a view towards discovering new products and processes, as well as transferring and applying those innovations. The SPPU is the result of a three-partite agreement celebrated among Institute Pasteur in Paris, the University of São Paulo (USP), and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) from Rio de Janeiro. It is currently a part of the Pasteur Network. The latest GVN Center is led by two Co-Directors, Paola MinoprioPhD, Executive Coordinator of the SPPU and Executive Director of the Institut Pasteur Brazil and Luís C.S. Ferreira, PhD, Professor and Head of the Laboratory for Vaccine Development at the University of São Paulo.

“The SPPU holds similar vision and mission with the GVN and shall contribute as a partner for the global preparedness and control of current and future viral epidemics, based on strong collaborations of scientists in Brazil and other countries,” said Dr. Minoprio and Dr. Ferreira. “The newly established SPPU´s group represents the outcome of strong collaborative work shared between University of São Paulo, the largest and most influential university at South America, and Institut Pasteur, a GVN Center of Excellence and renowned for its excellence in research and capacity to face public health challenges. Joining the GVN presents an opportunity to collaborate on more international initiatives and to gain experience and expertise in facing future viral challenges.  Further, based on our expertise from the COVID-19 pandemic, the SPPU is proud to join the GVN SARS-CoV-2 Task Force and share data in diagnostics, serological tests and vaccine development.”

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 67 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 36 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]

Global Virus Network (GVN) Adds the Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University as Newest Member to Combat Viral Threats

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, January 20, 2022: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 66 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 35 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, and the Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) announced the addition of the Institute as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence.

“We look forward to working with the Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies as a Russian GVN Center of Excellence for genetic vaccines [saRNA, mRNA, DNA] development, computational, structural and systems virology,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, who is President of the GVN and Professor at the University of South Florida.  “The Institute joins its Russian GVN Center of Excellence colleagues at the Moscow Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment, the MP Chumakov Center for Research/Development of Immuno-Biological Products and the Russian Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza (SRII).”

More than 320 partner universities from 70 countries and over one hundred of the world’s leading companies have direct contracts with Polytechnic University.  The Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies at SPbPU is the core scientific and educational structure for molecular biology and biotechnology, including molecular virology expertise that includes vaccine development, structural virology, computational virology and bioinformatics, molecular diagnostics, neuroscience, education.  The latest GVN Center is led by Andrey Vasin, PhD, DSc, Director of the Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies, and WHO NIC Director and GVN Center of Excellence Co-Director of the SRII.

“We look forward to productive cooperation and collaboration with our GVN colleagues in the area of vaccine research and development, including joint grant applications and possible experience exchange, and collaboration on educational programs in molecular virology,” said Dr. Vasin. “In turn, we are interested in hosting training and exchange programs such as fellowships for our young scientists in order to improve their professional skills, to broaden their scientific experience and to create excellent outstanding future specialists with wide experience and views in molecular virology.”

The Institute develops vaccines against COVID-19, HIV, and influenza and houses facilities for structural virology (mass-spectrometry, NMR, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations), genetic technologies for virology application (reverse genetics, saRNAs technology, non-viral delivery, CRISPR/Cas), computational virology, bioinformatics and mathematical modelling (supercomputing center (SCC) is 5th in Russia), recombinant proteins, and monoclonal antibodies development. In 2021, SPbPU was awarded the Russian Federal Academic Leadership Program “Priority 2030” and headed a consortium with more than twenty Russian research organizations, universities and industrial partners, including the GVN Center of Excellence at SRII, Mechnikov Research Institute of Vaccines and Serum, Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, St.Petersburg Scientific Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums and many others.

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 66 Centers of Excellence and 10 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]