Global Virus Network Announces Inaugural Cohort of Rising Star Mentorship Program

The five awardees will receive training and mentorship to help support and propel their rising careers in virology

BALTIMORE, MD, August 18, 2021: The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition comprised of human and animal virologists from 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 35 countries, today announced the five inaugural members of the GVN Rising Star Mentorship Program. This new initiative was created to identify and support promising, early career investigators to help them become leaders in the field of infectious diseases, as well as support the development of innovative diagnostic and interventional approaches to fight human pathogens.

“As novel emerging infectious diseases are threatening public health, it is critical to support and nurture early career, well-trained virologists,” said Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida, 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. “As such, the GVN has developed this training and mentoring program for the next generation of virologists as a part of its core mission.”

“This current pandemic taught us again how important it is to train and nurture the next generation of virologists, so we can be better prepared for future viral pandemic threats,” said Robert Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor of the GVN.

As the only coalition of its kind, the GVN Rising Star Mentorship Program offers a rare opportunity for future virology leaders to collaborate with key researchers, medical practitioners and decision makers driving scientific, evidence-based solutions for some of today’s largest challenges in public health. The five awardees for the inaugural cohort of the program include:

  • Dr. Jana Broadhurst, MD, PhD, DTM&H, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
  • Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbet, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA
  • Dr. Adeola Fowotade, PhD, Instructor of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Dr. Vineet Menachery, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, USA
  • Dr. Piya Paul Mudgal, PhD, Associate Professor of Virology, Institute of Virology, Manipal Institute of Virology, India

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” said Adeola Fowotade. “This program will give me the chance to receive topflight mentorship from GVN senior virologists and scientists and to engage with both industry and academia partners globally.”

Earlier this year, GVN received a donation of US$1 million to support the GVN Academy, an initiative that fosters global collaboration by providing training and mentoring programs for rising junior virologists. With these funds, the organization launched the GVN Rising Star Mentorship Program, which plans to mentor 15 scientists over the course of two years as well as connect each mentee with a GVN senior virologist who can help provide one-on-one research and career guidance. Participants of the program will also be invited to participate in exclusive GVN meetings and other professional development opportunities in virology.

“We are confident that this opportunity can lead to further collaboration with a variety of GVN projects and help foster the rising stars’ career path,” said Elodie Ghedin, PhD, Chief of the Systems Genomics Section at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA, and evaluation committee member for the GVN Rising Star Mentorship Program. “The application process was very competitive, so I would like to congratulate the five Rising Star awardees and other candidates as well.”

To learn more about the GVN Rising Star Mentorship Program, visit here.

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 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 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 Follow us on Twitter at @GlobalVirusNews

Media Contact:
Nora Samaranayake, GVN
[email protected]