Cleveland Clinic and The University of Southern Denmark Join Global Virus Network to Combat Viral Diseases

GVN’s latest additions further bolster its 55 Centers for Excellence, expanding knowledge of viruses and treatment

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Tuesday, July 7, 2020: The Global Virus Network (GVN), comprising foremost experts around the world in every class of virus causing disease in humans and some animals, today announced the addition of Cleveland Clinic and the University of Southern Denmark, including the Bandim Health Project in Guinea-Bissau, as its two newest Centers of Excellence. 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.

“We welcome the inclusion of Cleveland Clinic and the University of Southern Denmark to our network,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of GVN and Professor at the University of South Florida.  “The addition of the renowned Cleveland Clinic will provide expertise and collaboration opportunities for the greater GVN on matters relating to viral-host interactions, including antiviral drug development, immune modulatory therapies and vaccine development.  The University of Southern Denmark will provide a very important contribution to novel approaches for vaccination, and also, it will further increase our outreach in Africa through the Bandim Health Project in Guinea-Bissau.”

Cleveland Clinic, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes Lerner Research Institute, an integrated research institute performing investigations in basic, translational, and clinical research; Cleveland Clinic Florida Research and Innovation Center in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, which is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of innovative translational research, focuses on immuno-oncology and infectious diseases; and, the newly added Global Virus Network Center in Innate Immunity Research.  Cleveland Clinic has a 30-year history of groundbreaking advances in interferon and cytokine research. Robert Silverman, PhD, Professor at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute will lead this GVN Center.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with other centers in the GVN to work toward fundamental discoveries in host-virus interactions, through shared expertise in a wide range of viral infections,” said Dr. Silverman.  “Furthermore, novel antiviral strategies developed through the GVN may be implemented at Cleveland Clinic.”

The University of Southern Denmark has campuses in seven cities across Denmark and has been an established university for over 50 years. It has recently, as the first university in Denmark, made the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the focal point for its work as a university. The Bandim Health Project is affiliated with the Department of Clinical Research, which constitutes the university affiliation for all researchers and teachers at Odense University Hospital, Odense. The University of Southern Denmark was selected because of its long history of research into infections and vaccinations. Its key scientific contributions to the field are observations that intensity of exposure is the main determinant of severe viral infections and that vaccines have non-specific effects, affecting susceptibility toward a broad range of pathogens.  The Bandim Health Project works with population-based health research in Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poorest countries in West Africa. Christine Stabell Benn, MD, PhD, DMSc, Professor in Global Health at the Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, will lead this GVN Center.

“We are honored to be part of this eminent network,” said Dr. Benn. “Vaccines and their non-specific effects may be a very important tool against emerging viral treats, allowing us to bridge the time until specific vaccines can be developed. Much more work needs to be done to understand the non-specific effects, both from an epidemiological and an immunological perspective. As a member of GVN, we will benefit greatly from interacting with the world’s leading medical virologists.”

The GVN 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.

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 55 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 33 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 nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

Media Contact:
Nora Samaranayake, GVN
[email protected]