The Global Virus Network (GVN) Announces The Addition Of Three New Centers Of Excellence Joining Organization

University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review and the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation Join Renowned Global Virus Network to Combat Viral Diseases

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 4, 2019: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 48 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 Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) Global Health Institute, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review (FDA-OVRR) and the Russian Federation’s Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza (the Institute) 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.

“The addition of these three Centers deepen our viral expertise in basic science, zoonotic and vaccine and drug therapy expertise, among other advantages,” said Dr. Gallo, 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. “UW-Madison is an impressive institution with a number of top virologists who will contribute to the GVN’s overall research and translational programs and global reach.  The FDA-OVRR will enhance the GVN’s contributions in the development of viral vaccines and drug therapeutics, while the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza will contribute to our current influenza studies and other acute respiratory viral infection research.”

“The addition of two superb U.S. institutions and an accomplished Russian institution is a tribute to our commitment to advance science regardless of governments politics,” said Dr. Bréchot, professor at the University of South Florida and executive director of the Romark Company Institute for Medical Research. “With these new additions, the GVN will strengthen its biosecurity initiatives including our recently established Anticipation & Preparedness Taskforce, among other important projects.”

The UW-Madison Global Health Institute Center of Excellence (UW-Madison) will be led by Tony Goldberg, PhD, DVM, MS, professor, department of pathobiological sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, associate director for research, Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, MS, PhD, professor, department of pathobiological sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, director, Influenza Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Virology research at UW-Madison includes studies of agents infecting humans, animals and plants, including highly pathogenic viruses (e.g. the ebolaviruses) and viruses with pandemic potential (e.g. influenza virus, Dengue virus, Zika virus). Virology research at UW-Madison is currently and historically strong with respect to viruses that cause human cancer and the biochemistry of host-virus interaction.

The new Centers’ activities range from basic research to the development of vaccines and therapeutics to public health and policy. UW-Madison has specific strengths in emerging viral pathogens and zoonoses, including rapid detection and characterization of novel viral agents, the development of animal models (especially primates) and the development of countermeasures such as vaccines and therapeutics.  The Center will work close with GVN Center of Excellence colleagues at the Colombia-Wisconsin One-Health Consortium (CWOHC), led by Jorge Osorio, DVM, PhD, professor, department of pathobiological sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“With our new GVN membership, and in partnership with Dr. Osorio, we will expand the range of global training opportunities for our graduate students as well as provide the GVN with expertise in diverse viral systems of global importance and highly specialized methodologies,” said Drs. Goldberg and Kawaoka.  “We especially look forward to strengthening our international training opportunities via the GVN and forging new scientific collaborations with members of the GVN.”

The FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR) GVN Center of Excellence is led by Konstantin Chumakov, PhD, associate director, OVRR, and is one of the three product offices, in addition to the Office of Blood Research and Review and the Office of Tissue and Advanced Therapies that regulates gene and cellular therapies. OVRR is in the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), the world’s oldest institution responsible for regulation of biologically-derived medical products. CBER conducts regulatory research to better understand basic and translational aspects of regulated products and to inform development, evaluation and manufacture of various biologicals. The area of regulatory and research purview of OVRR includes vaccines against viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, allergenic products for both diagnostic and therapeutic use, as well as live bio-therapeutic products, such as probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation and phage therapy. The Office research portfolio includes 35 independent research programs covering a wide range of viral and bacterial pathogens.

“We are pleased to join the GVN in an official capacity, as we have participated in GVN activities since its inception,” said Dr. Chumakov.  “We will continue working with the GVN to facilitate the sharing of information to develop and evaluate effective vaccines.  We also look forward to participating in and supporting the training of the world’s next generation of virologists.”

The Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza Center of Excellence, led by Andrey Vasin, PhD its Director, Head of the Molecular Biology of Viruses Department, is a leading institute in the field of virology in Russia.  The Institute’s main activities are tightly interconnected with influenza and other respiratory viruses. The Institute is also an active part of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and is a WHO-recognized National Influenza Centre since 1971. Other activities include vaccine research and development projects, including the possibility to conduct pre-clinical and clinical trials (all phases), antiviral research and system biology approaches for investigation of host-pathogen interactions.

“The institute is already engaged in broad international collaborative research in the field of molecular virology, genetic engineering, improving the quality of diagnostic products, designing and producing new influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs,” said Dr. Vasin.  “The GVN provides a unique opportunity to collaborate in the areas of vaccine research and development against respiratory pathogens, including joint grant applications and experience exchange. We look forward to hosting clinical trials of vaccines and novel drugs according to International standards, in addition to training exchange programs for our young scientists.”

The GVN will co-host its 11th International Meeting with the Spanish Society of Virology in Barcelona, Spain from June 9-12, 2019. Top virologists from around the world will discuss topics, including immunology and vaccines, antiviral drug therapy, virus-host interaction, diagnostic virology and epidemiology, morphogenesis and structural biology, emerging and re-emerging viruses, viruses as biotechnological tools and trending topics in virology.

 

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 48 Centers of Excellence and seven Affiliates in 29 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. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

The Global Virus Network (GVN) Launches Anticipation & Preparedness Taskforce Following 10th International Meeting in Annecy, France

The GVN Undertakes Worldwide Initiative to Support Public Health Authorities 

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, March 27, 2019: The Global Virus Network (GVN), a worldwide coalition of preeminent virologists engaged in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, exiting and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, has launched the Anticipation & Preparedness Taskforce (A&P Taskforce).  The A&P Taskforce is led by Dr. Christian Bréchot, President of the GVN, and Co-Chaired by Elodie Ghedin, PhD, Director of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, and Professor of Biology and Global Public Health at New York University, and Giuseppe Ippolito, MD, the Scientific Director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for clinical care, diagnosis, response and training on Highly Infectious Diseases at INMI.

The Taskforce is comprised of more than a dozen experts from GVN Centers of Excellence and Affiliates and its mission is to develop and employ innovative and pioneering approaches to identify and elucidate the impact and magnitude of future viral epidemics by coalescing mathematic modelling with epidemiology, genomics, medicine and public health.  The Taskforce will work closely with public health authorities, existing networks and institutions as well as disseminate vital clinical and scientific information on best practices for the diagnosis and management virus related pathogens.

Said Dr. Bréchot, “The identification of emerging, re-emerging and unknown infectious diseases and surveillance of viral pathogens humans and wildlife is critical for early prediction of future disease outbreaks and epidemics.  This must be based on science and the best of research activities on these topics. Analyzing these viral pathogens as well as the host response to these pathogens will enable us to build models for rapid diagnostics and thus early identification as well as prompt clinical management of suspected cases. The Taskforce will also facilitate and expedite the development of critical epidemiological protocols and guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emerging, re-emerging and unknown viruses, as well as training healthcare professionals in all geographical areas to deal with infectious diseases caused by such viruses; being science-driven it will work in close interaction with the other organizations at stake on this major issue”.

A recent article published by the BBC titled, “The Mystery Viruses Far Worse Than the Flu” (Gorvett, 2018), emphasized the critical and timely need to anticipate and prepare for the next human pandemic; and this is one of the primary mandates for the formation and implementation of the Anticipation & Preparedness Taskforce. In addition, the A&P Taskforce will develop standardized practices and protocols for global biodefense and biosecurity.  Of all the challenges that pose a clear and present threat to public health, biosecurity poses one of the greatest global risks.  The GVN is the only single institution in the world that has specialist expertise in all emerging, re-emerging and unknown viruses, and the GVN is now a member of the WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.  Furthermore, following a recent meeting between Dr. Bréchot and representatives from the WHO in Geneva, the GVN will closely interact with the WHO on the development, standardization and implementation of biosecurity standards and practices. 

The Taskforce’s biodefense and biosecurity initiative will be led by James LeDuc, PhD, the director of the Galveston National Laboratory and a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  Said Dr. LeDuc in his recent article, “Network for Safe and Secure Labs” (LeDuc, 2018), published in Science, “dangerous diseases exist in many corners of the world and that they can cause substantial human suffering and financial devastation locally and internationally. In response, institutions and nations are constructing maximum biocontainment laboratories (MCLs) to address these threats. MCLs operate at the highest level of biological containment to diagnose, perform research on and validate cures for life-threatening diseases like Ebola.  The global proliferation of these facilities raises questions about how to ensure safe and secure operations while enhancing their contributions to science and global health. One solution is to establish an MCL network that enables the sharing of best practices, collaboration, transparency and exchange of specimens and technology.” The A&P Taskforce, as well as eight new Virus Watch Groups, were adopted by the Leadership Committee of the GVN at the organization’s tenth international meeting in Annecy, France in the Fall of last year.  The objective of the Virus Watch Groups is to establish regular communication and collaboration between the GVN’s experts, further highlighting the GVN as the go-to organization for virus science expertise in the event of an emerging epidemic.  The Virus Watch Groups will enable rapid responses to threats in the following categories: Arboviruses; Gastrointestinal; Hemorrhagic Fever; Herpes; Oncogenic; Respiratory; Retroviruses; and Zoonotic. During the course of the meeting, which was hosted by the Mérieux Foundation and University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, attendees discussed the challenges posed by emerging and reemerging viruses, in the context of political instability and burgeoning refugees, deforestation and urban expansion, inadequate and incomplete vaccination and the lack of consistent and standardized biosafety measures, among other critical factors.

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 45 Centers of Excellence and seven Affiliates in 29 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

Distinguished Attorney Timothy C. Moynahan Named Chairman of the Global Virus Network (Gvn) Board of Directors

DISTINGUISHED ATTORNEY TIMOTHY C. MOYNAHAN NAMED CHAIRMAN OF THE GLOBAL VIRUS NETWORK (GVN) BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Will Forge Partnerships With Multinational Corporations & Private Benefactors To Mitigate The Threat & Financial Impact Of Pandemic Viral Diseases

Baltimore, MD (December 17, 2013) – The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s foremost medical virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from pandemic viruses, today announced that Timothy C. Moynahan, Esq., has been elected as the 2014 Chairman of the Board of Directors.  The announcement was made by Robert C. Gallo, MD, co-founder of the GVN, Chair of GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board, and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.  Dr. Gallo was joined in this announcement by GVN co-founders Reinhard Kurth, MD, Chairman of the Foundation Council, Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlin, Germany and William Hall, MD, PhD, Vice Chair of the GVN Board of Directors, and Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases the University College Dublin in Ireland.  Mr. Moynahan takes on the Chairman’s role from immediate past Chairman G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company.

“Mr. Moynahan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise on international business and public-private sector partnerships to the GVN,” said Dr. Gallo, most notably known for his co-discovery of HIV and development of the blood test. “We are confident that Mr. Moynahan will lead the Board with vision  and passion for GVN’s critical mission of safeguarding life from potentially pandemic viral disease,” he added.   Mr. Moynahan served as the first Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors at the time of the GVN’s establishment in 2011.  “Tim’s insights into GVN as a founding Board member and as its inaugural Chairman position him perfectly to lead us successfully into the future,” continued Dr. Gallo.

One of Mr. Moynahan’s primary objectives is to develop partnerships with relevant multinational corporations and private benefactors in order to provide the substantial funding required to address the serious threat and exorbitant financial impact posed by potentially pandemic viral disease threatening public health.  “I am honored to serve as GVN’s Chairman once again and work alongside my dedicated and distinguished colleagues,” said Mr. Moynahan.  “Viruses continue to take tragic tolls on humanity in many ways, with millions of lives lost each year and staggering costs to the global economy.  The current flu season is a stark reminder:  According to the World Health Organization, seasonal flu in the United States alone results in 40,000 deaths and $87.1 billion in economic losses, both directly in terms of health care, and indirectly through work days lost and other factors.   One of my most important mandates is to raise awareness of the staggering impact of viruses on lives, commerce and businesses,” he added.

Mr. Moynahan, a preeminent litigation attorney, is the founder of The Moynahan Law Firm, one of Connecticut’s most respected law firms.   In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board of the Global Virus Network, Mr. Moynahan has been elected to the board of directors of numerous corporations and charitable organizations, including the Post University MBA Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the Institute of Human Virology, the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and President of the Connecticut Chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States.