Global Virus Network Announces 2020 Special Annual Meeting

World-Renowned Scientists Come Together to Address COVID-19, Ramifications for Future Epidemics and Pandemics  at September 22-23 Virtual Meeting

Editors’ note: Media are invited to participate in a virtual press conference on Thursday, September 24 at 9 am ET, which will highlight key outcomes/findings of the meeting. GVN founders and session chairs will present the findings, followed by a QA session for news media. To register or learn more, email [email protected].

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, September 17, 2020: The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from viral disease, will hold its 2020 GVN Special Annual Meeting virtually September 22-23, 2020.  The current SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) crisis has now been ongoing for more than seven months and it is timely to investigate what went wrong, what went right, and what GVN proposes for future pandemics.  GVN, a partner of international institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looks forward to providing guidance on lessons learned from this current crisis and future preparedness, particularly as we prepare for a potential second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Discussion topics will include vaccine development, therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as ensuring that scientific truth and fact prevails. This analysis will examine key pandemic response strategies, including a universal masking policy, creating a consortium to improve diagnostics and vaccines, enhancing peer reviewed processes and establishing reliable channels for information sharing. The invitation-only meeting will bring together experts in virology, epidemiology and public health, including representatives of GVN Centers of Excellence, to facilitate international collaboration and information sharing.

“There could not be a more critical time for our organization to host a special meeting as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to the collaborative ideas, insights, perspectives and recommendations that our Annual Meetings consistently provide, enlightening our members and the broader global scientific community and world leaders in their work addressing virus-causing diseases,” said GVN President Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD. “And at this critical time, we need shared expertise and strategies as we work together to anticipate the second wave of COVID-19 and future pandemics.”

“If there existed a collaborative, first research response such as the GVN when I was working on AIDS, we would have distributed the fast-moving scientific developments more rapidly and saved countless more lives.  COVID-19 is no different, the world should have been better prepared, and still it is not,” said Dr. Robert C. Gallo, co-founder of GVN and the current Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The GVN Special Annual Meeting will give us the opportunity to determine what we must do to address the impending second wave of COVID-19 and be better prepared for the future epidemics and pandemics to come.”

The conference will include presentations by leading international scientists from nine countries representing 15 GVN Centers of Excellence. In addition to Drs. Gallo and Bréchot, presenters include:


  • Sharon Lewin of Doherty Institute, Australia
  • Edward Holmes of University of Sydney, Australia
  • Joaquim Segales of Irta-Cresa, Spain
  • Wim H. M. Van Der Poel of Wageningen University, Netherlands
  • Ben Cowling of the University of Hong Kong, China
  • Raymond Schinazi of Emory University Center, USA
  • David Block of Glinknik, USA
  • John Mellors of the University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Rabindra M. Tirovanziam of Emory University, USA
  • Franco Buonaguro of the National Cancer Institute, Italy
  • Miguel Luengo-Oroz of Un Global Pulse, USA
  • Linfa Wang of the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
  • Florian Krammer of Mount Sinai, USA
  • Amy Chung of University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Sophie Valkenburg of the University of Hong Kong, China
  • Konstantin Chumakov of the FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review, USA
  • Marion Gruber of the FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review, USA
  • Chirstine Stabel Benn of the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Mihai Netea of Radboud University, Netherlands
  • Gavin Cloherty of Abbott Laboratories, USA
  • David Scheer of Scheer & Company, USA
  • Mark Parrington of Sanofi, USA
  • Ab Osterhaus of TiHo Hannover, Germany
  • Matthew Frieman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA
  • Gene Morse of the University of Buffalo, USA

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 57 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 non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews.

Media Contacts:

Sard Verbinnen & Co
Kelly Kimberly/Kelly Langmesser
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Nora Samaranayake
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