Zika Virus Task Force

Zika Task Force

Chair: Scott Weaver, MS, PhD

Galveston National Laboratory
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

Zika FAQ

Task Force Biographies

Terms of Reference (TOR) – Global Virus Network Zika Task Force

  • The Zika Task Force is composed of members of any of the GVN Centers of Excellence, its affiliates and top global experts who have relevant research and development expertise that could be harnessed to respond to the current Zika epidemic.
  • One member will serve as Chairperson. Membership in the Task Force is voluntary.
  • The Zika task force is the main responsible for advising the GVN, including its Centers of Excellence, in all aspects related to the GVN response to the Zika epidemic.
  • With support from the GVN secretariat, the Task Force will communicate with all CoE to identify opportunities for collaboration.
  • With support from the Secretariat, the Task Force will establish strategic alliances with other relevant organizations involved in the response to the Zika epidemic.
  • The Task Force will convene conference calls and, if appropriate, meetings to discuss practical GVN actions in response to the epidemic.
  • With support from the GVN Secretariat, the The Task Force will serve as GVN spokespersons, and will communicate with the media as such.
  • As possible and appropriate, members of the Task Force should be available to advise, on behalf of the GVN, countries on activities related to the response to the epidemic.
  • While serving in the GVN Task Force, members are encouraged to act on behalf of the GVN in addition to their own professional affiliation.
  • Membership of the Task Force is for one year, extendable if appropriate.

GVN Zika Serum Bank

The Global Virus Network is an independent, non-profit organization that was founded in 2011 in Washington, D.C. Today, the GVN is comprised of 38 Centers and 6 Affiliates in 24 nations. The GVN vision is: “A world prepared to prevent, contain and control viral epidemic threats, through the collaboration of a global network of expert virus laboratories.” That vision is approached by: (1) Establishing a global network of expert virology laboratories; (2) Promoting the development of new tools, including diagnostics, antiviral drugs and vaccines; (3) Training the next generation of virologists; and, (4) Advocating for a more comprehensive and inclusive response to viral threats worldwide.

To assist with the development of diagnostics and vaccines and to better understand the humoral immune response to Zika virus infection, the GVN, thanks to a generous gift from Allergan, has established a patient serum bank. The donated sera or plasma, provided without patient identification, will be distributed to interested scientists through the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses (WRCEVA) at UTMB. The GVN Zika Serum Bank has both acute, PCR-positive and convalescent, antibody-positive sera.

If you wish to request samples, please fill in the request form. Requests will be reviewed to determine the best use of these limited Zika-positive human serum/plasma samples.


Media on GVN Zika Task Force

Task Force Members

  • Sazaly Bin Abu Bakar, PhD, Msc, Bsc
    University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Michael Diamond, MD, PhD
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • Jose Esparza
    Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, USA
  • Susan J. Fisher, PhD
    UCSF School of Medicine
  • Robert Gallo
    Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, USA
  • Antoine Gessain, MD, PhD       
    Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Xavier Abad Morejón de Girón, PhD
    Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal, Catalonia, Spain
  • Diane Griffin, MD, PhD
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Andrew Haddow, PhD
    United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, MD, USA
  • Giuseppe Ippolito, MD
    National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, Rome, Italy
  • Esper Kallas, MD, PhD
    University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Alexander Khromykh, PhD
    University of Queensland, Australia
  • Albert Ko, MD
    Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA
  • Alain Kohl, PhD
    MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Marc Lecuit, MD, PhD
    Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Eric Leroy, PhD
    Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France
  • Julius Lutwama, PhD
    Makerere University, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda
  • John Mackenzie, AO, PhD, FTSE, FASM, FACTM
    Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Núria Busquets Martí, PhD
    Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal, Catalonia, Spain
  • Gene D. Morse, PharmD
    University at Buffalo HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory
  • Kenneth Olson
    College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
  • Jorge Osorio, PhD  
    University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
    University of Antioquia Medical School and Fundacion Antioqueña de Infectologia, Medellin, Colombia 
  • Janusz T. Paweska, PhD
    NHLS Johannesburg National Institute for Communicable Diseases
  • Giovanni Rezza, MD
    Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
  • Amadou Sall, PhD
    Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal
  • Raymond Schinazi, PhD, Hon DSc
    Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Cameron Simmons, PhD
    The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne,Australia
  • Ed Tramont, MD
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD
    Institut Pasteur
  • Nikos Vasilakis, PhD
    University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
  • David Watkins, PhD
    University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
  • Stephen Whitehead, PhD
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases