Renowned Public Health Virologist José Esparza Ushers in New Era for Global Virus Network (GVN) as President

Renowned Public Health Virologist José Esparza Ushers in New Era for Global Virus Network (GVN) as President

Prominent drug discoverer, virologist, and entrepreneur Raymond Schinazi is also elected to the GVN executive committee and esteemed lawyer Tim Moynahan is reappointed as GVN Chairman of the Board of Directors

January 27, Baltimore, MD: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 34 Centers of Excellence in more than 25 countries and comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, today announced the appointment of José Esparza, MD, PhD as President of the GVN. Dr. Esparza’s appointment will boost GVN’s global impact given his long and distinguished career in global health, and in particular vaccine development, as evidenced by his successful leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The GVN also announced the election of Raymond Schinazi, PhD, Hon DSc to GVN’s executive committee and the reappointment of Tim Moynahan, Esq as Chairman of GVN’s Board of Directors. The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder of the GVN and Chair of the GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board.

“With the appointment of José Esparza as President, Raymond Schinazi as a dedicated member of the GVN leadership team and Tim Moynahan’s Board leadership expertise, GVN is well positioned to grow its visibility and presence around the world,” said Dr. Gallo, who is also The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “Dr. Esparza brings a unique set of expertise in that he is a renowned medical virologist who also has tremendous success in executing and implementing global health policies, while Dr. Schinazi is an outstanding leader in the field and has been enormously successful in translating research to antiviral therapies that have saved the lives of millions of people globally. Mr. Moynahan is a long-time leader of the GVN and brings a wealth of expertise to harvest and focus our Board’s multidisciplinary talents.” Dr. Gallo continued, “This, combined with their collective passion for, and belief in, the GVN will undoubtedly enhance and grow the GVN’s mission to combat epidemics and emerging viral infections through research collaborations, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy.”

As GVN President, Dr. Esparza’s priorities include growing GVN’s funding base by linking governments, businesses, philanthropic organizations and other entities with interest in safeguarding the globe against existing and future viral threats. Dr. Esparza will also harness his expertise in science to initiate and strengthen international collaborations between top researchers in the GVN as well as to extend GVN’s reach to important regions of the world.

“Viral outbreaks know no boundaries,” said Dr. Esparza. “Particularly in today’s vast global economy, each day brings a new viral threat. And each day, there continues to be an urgent need to bring GVN to all parts of the world as no other organization like it exists. GVN is not tied to politics and is driven by the biomedical research produced by its Centers of Excellence in a singular effort to protect the world from infectious disease.”

Prior to joining GVN as President, from 2004 to 2014 Dr. Esparza was with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA, first as Senior Advisor on HIV Vaccines and subsequently as Senior Advisor on Global Health (Vaccines). He has published seminal work in the field of rotaviruses, combining basic science with epidemiology and clinical work.   From 1986 to 2004, Dr. Esparza worked with WHO and UNAIDS, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he became a global leader in the field of HIV vaccines. Dr. Esparza is author of over 180 publications and has served on multiple advisory committees around the world. He is a member of the Venezuelan Academy of Medicine and has received numerous international honors.

As a member of GVN’s executive committee, Dr. Schinazi will provide invaluable council to ensure GVN’s varying programs and initiatives continue to grow and succeed. Dr Schinazi, who holds more than 90 issued U.S. and international patents, is a world leader in the area of nucleoside chemistry and is the founder of several biotechnology companies focusing on antiviral drug discovery and development. He is also the founder of highly successful drug therapy conferences, encouraging scholarship and collaboration in the areas of HIV, hepatitis, and mosquito borne virus research. “GVN fills an international gap between virologists via its network and, as such, is an essential global asset and a necessary entity in the collective fight against viral threats around the world,” said Dr. Schinazi. “I am pleased to work with such an exceptional group and be a part of this new chapter of GVN.”

In his reappointed position as Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors, Mr. Moynahan will spend significant time in growing GVN’s funding sources and strengthening GVN’s public and private sector relationships. Mr. Moynahan, a preeminent litigation attorney and founder of The Moynahan Law Firm, has been a member of numerous corporations and charitable organizations’ board of directors, including the Post University MBA Advisory Council, the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and President of the Connecticut Chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States. “It is with great enthusiasm I welcome Dr. Esparza as the newly appointed President of the GVN and Dr. Schinazi as a core leader in the GVN,” said Tim Moynahan, Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors. “Since the beginning – even before GVN’s formal declaration in March 2011 at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C. – we have passionately believed in GVN’s unique vision to fulfill a significant void in the global war on viral infectious diseases, and it is in this spirit that Drs. Esparza and Schinazi will no doubt lead the GVN.”