Letter From the GVN President

Since its founding the Global Virus Network has sought to help create a coordinated global response to the world’s most dangerous viruses. GVN has accomplished a great deal. As the new president, I am privileged and honored to be able to help continue this urgent effort.

So much has been accomplished since the GVN’s founding: The establishment of a global network of experts, the education and training of a promising new generation of virologists, and an increased focus on research and development. I look forward to building on that fantastic work, and to continuing my collaboration with GVN’s co-founder and scientific director, Dr. Robert Gallo, as well as with all the GVN members who make this inspiring endeavor possible.

We remain dedicated to our overarching goal — to create partnerships between a wide range of networks and organizations across the globe, and in so doing, to better prevent and respond to viral infections as well as viral pandemics. With GVN Centers of Excellence and Affiliates all over the world, we can rapidly bring together top experts — in high-level research, virology, zoonosis, veterinary medicine, and more — to decide on the best course of action, on the ground and in the lab.

We will continue to provide support and scientific expertise to a variety of global organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Coalition for Epidemics Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI), etc., and around the world. As a highly respected, independent, evidence-based organization, GVN has the unique capacity to bring the relevant expertise together, so they can more effectively identify pathogens and implement vaccines, diagnostic tools, prevention strategies, and adequate treatments.

We continue to be on the cutting edge of the field. Our task forces — on Zika, HTLV-1, Chikungunya, Lassa fever, and other viruses — are comprised of the foremost experts in the field and are leading the fight against these threats. But we are working to be even more forward facing: we’ve also created the new Task Force on Unknown Viruses so that we can be prepared for the next viral pandemic. We know it will come and we want to be a prepared as possible.

Another way we are preparing is by continuing our core mission to educate and train the next generation of virologists. Our programs in Baltimore, including the annual GVN Short Course, continue to offer expert instruction to researchers from throughout the world. We are working to expand this training to other countries as well so that early career virologists have even more opportunities to learn from more experienced scientists.

As this suggests, we are working hard to make the GVN even more global. While Baltimore will remain the hub of what we do, we want to expand the capabilities of our GVN regional offices. The power of our shared work lies in our global reach, the depth and rigor of our science, and our relentless commitment to solving the urgent viral challenges we face across the world.

Please join us in Annecy, France on November 28-30, 2018 for the 10th International GVN Meeting to continue to work together towards these goals.

Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD
President, Global Virus Network (GVN)