GLOBAL VIRUS NETWORK (GVN) ADDS FOUR PREEMINENT ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS TO STRENGTHEN GLOBAL COLLABORATION IN VIRAL RESEARCH AND RESPONSE TO PANDEMICS
The Four New GVN Members Form Three New Centers of Excellence and One Affiliate from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America
Baltimore, Maryland, USA, January 28, 2021: 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 three new Centers of Excellence including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health in the United States of America (USA), and one Affiliate, the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago through GVN’s Center of Excellence in HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory in the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences, at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY), USA. The latest additions bolster GVN to 61 Centers of Excellence, with 11 Affiliates in 34 nations. The 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 look forward to working with each of these esteemed new members to combat the current pandemic emergency and plan for, and mitigate, future outbreaks,” said Dr. Christian Bréchot, President of the GVN and Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation, Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
”These new Centers and Affiliate offer not just deeper global reach, but encompass some of the world’s most cutting-edge science and thought leadership,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, GVN co-founder and international scientific advisor, who is also 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.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Chinese Academy of Sciences, offers, among other world-leading expertise, valuable resources in bat viruses and coronaviruses and will be an important Center for studying response to emerging viral diseases.
“I support increasing global collaborations and transparency in science, particularly related to this current pandemic crisis,” said Dr. Zhengli Shi, Professor at WIV and director of GVN’s new Center in China. “In addition to sharing our coronavirus research and any new breakthroughs with my fellow colleagues at the GVN, I am also looking forward to sharing my experience in Africa, particularly the National Museums of Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service, regarding our surveillance studies in bats, rodents and camels in East Africa.”
Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands is renowned for conducting research in innate immunity, non-specific vaccines, targeting leukocytes, and metabolic differentiation, especially against coronaviruses.
“I am looking forward to increasing my collaborations with the GVN,” said Dr. Mihai Netea, a GVN Task Force member who will direct the new Center, and who also heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “I am pleased that our research in understanding the factors influencing variability of human immune responses, the biology of sepsis and immunoparalysis in bacterial and fungal infections, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity is already helping to shape GVN’s thought-leadership on utilizing innate immunity to mitigate our current pandemic and future ones.”
The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in the USA leads major genomic studies of Lassa virus, Ebola virus, and Zika virus and have carried out extensive work in virology and microbial diagnostics, including contributions to the development of innovative technologies.
“My lab has contributed to a range of fields including human and microbial genomics, information theory, and infectious disease diagnostics and surveillance, while developing new and cutting-edge diagnostic and computational technologies for outbreak prevention and response,” said Dr. Pardis Sabeti, a Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), who will direct the GVN Center. “Together with the GVN, we can expand our study of pandemic resilience in the future.”
The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago routinely investigates a variety of important human and animal pathogens vectored by mosquito, tick, culicoides and bats including dengue, Chikungunya, Zika and bat coronaviruses, and will contribute to many of GVN’s initiatives. UWI St. Augustine joins the GVN as an Affiliate through GVN’s Center of Excellence in HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA.
“We look forward to working with our GVN collaborators, particularly at the University at Buffalo, SUNY to share our expertise in viral epidemiology research, as well as, to participating in broader training programs to enhance our virus research capacity,” said Dr. Christine Carrington, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Virology at UWI St. Augustine and Director of the new GVN Affiliate.
Dr. Gene D. Morse, Distinguished Professor and Director at the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, SUNY who leads the GVN Center of Excellence said, “I am pleased to see my colleagues from Trinidad and Tobago come under the GVN umbrella. I look forward to helping them share resources with the GVN, test and develop antiviral therapies and biomarkers, promote translational science and build infrastructure and capacity for global virology research.”
GVN members collaborate on research areas 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. GVN is at the frontline of virology research to share knowledge, collaborate, and train the next generation of virologists as effective tools to combat epidemics of the future.
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 comprising eminent human and animal virologists from 61 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliates in 34 countries worldwide, working collaboratively to train the next generation of virologists, 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
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