Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 7, 2023: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing more than 70 Centers of Excellence in over 40 countries comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, announced the addition of the Turkish Virology Consortium (TVC) as its newest Center of Excellence.
“We are pleased to add Turkey’s leading virologists to our network,” 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. “The Turkish Virology Consortium serves as a platform for launching concerted actions on major challenges of viral infections and will grow GVN’s network in the region, which is extremely important in combatting viral outbreaks.”
The TVC brings together the leading virologists working on clinically important viruses in Turkey. Consortium members come from 12 different laboratories at 7 universities located in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya, and have a wide array of research interests and expertise on epidemiology, diagnostics, and vaccinology against emerging pathogenic viral diseases. Those diseases include SARS-CoV-2, CCHFV, Hantaviruses, West Nile Virus, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viruses. Coordinated by Professor Mehmet Öztürk, PhD, at İzmir Tinaztepe University, the TVC offers diverse research and Euro-Biobanking activities for the development of novel diagnostics and preventative tools against viral public health threats.
"I thank the GVN for approving the Turkish Virology Consortium as a GVN Center of Excellence on behalf of my institution and my collaborators,” said Prof. Öztürk. “Joining the GVN as a Center of Excellence will maximize our members’ innovative potential through sharing research, expertise, and emerging opportunities for surveillance, prevention, and therapies for infectious diseases. Among these and other important initiatives, we will also be organizing short courses in virology to help train the next generation of virologists.”
Professor Öztürk is a world-renowned scientist with seminal research on genetic causes of human cancer, including inherited and carcinogen-induced genetic mutations causing childhood cancers and liver cancer, respectively. His academic career began as a PhD student at Paris XI University, after which he became an assistant professor at Harvard, research director at INSERM, and then professor at Turkey’s Bilkent University. His high-impact research includes over 100 articles referenced over 9100 times and nearly 10 patents have led to numerous awards and elections to several science academies, including EMBO, TWAS, and the Turkish Academy of Sciences.
“Combining these laboratories to form a Turkish national GVN Center is an excellent initiative by Prof. Öztürk,” said Robert C. Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder & Emeritus Director, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Co-founder & Chair of the Scientific Leadership Board of the GVN. “Their combined expertise and location as a bridge between the Middle East and Asia is integral to connecting us to virus hotspots in Turkey and the surrounding region.”
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 70+ Centers of Excellence and 9 Affiliates in over 40 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
Nora Samaranayake, GVN