GVN Center and Member Spotlight

March 28, 2022 – GVN SPOTLIGHT ON: Dr. Birendra Gupta

Dr. Birendra Gupta
Research Scientist
Tribhuvan University, Nepal

How did you learn and become interested in the GVN?

I have always had an inclination towards virology, and have been participating actively in most of the relevant symposiums, conferences and webinars. This strengthens my personal and scientific research network with those whom share the same field interest with me. One of the GVN colleagues introduced me to the GVN’s contributions to advancing and capacity building in viral research to improve indigenous population health status. This is also my research goals to improve my country’s population health, and to serve vulnerable groups using research knowledge, harnessed from research activities and regional activities.

What do you hope to gain from The GVN Fellowship Program?

I have devoted my career to study virus pathogenesis, molecular analysis and our immune response to human pathogens. My research activities have been conducted with limited resources by studying various important viruses circulating in Nepal. I have successfully contributed my expertise to Phase 3 vaccine studies.

I expect that academic resources and leading virologists in IHV will help me to expand my research experience to the field of vaccine development, clinical trials and epidemiology of viral disease. This fellowship program and experience can be of great benefit in helping developing countries like Nepal by mentoring young researchers to achieve the common goal, serving through research for betterment of mankind.

Professional Summary/Biosketch

I am an assistant professor of Virology serving at Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. As a virologist, I have implemented a multi-center study to examine risk factors for immune-persistence of Dengue & Hepatitis E virus antibodies in Nepal and prospectively examined the epidemiology & determined Immunogenicity & safety of a single dose of live-attenuated Japanese encephalitis vaccine SA 14-14-2 in children & adults.

I have identified the HEV infection during pregnancy can be very severe, causing severe morbidity and mortality for both the mother and the child. Similarly, I have identified cases of dengue virus infection and performed the first whole genome sequencing of virus from the Nepal.

In addition to that, I have worked as clinical laboratory consultant for Vi-DT typhoid conjugate vaccine Typhoid Conjugate vaccine (TCV), Oral Cholera vaccine- simplified (OCV-S) and COVID -19 phase III studies of vaccine. I have been the co- principal investigator different viral disease project including Hepatitis E virus (HEV) vaccine trial which is critical for the licensure to use during pregnancy.

About the Tribhuvan University

The Virus Research Center (VRC) inside the Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University is a very dynamic organization having a state-of-the art research infrastructure including animal experimentation facilities, modern molecular virology-immunology platforms, vector biology. This provides a unique environment in Nepal for teaching, training and research of virology at par with international standards.

The VRC work is designed for epidemiological, molecular and immunological analysis of viral diseases. We have all equipment for serological, molecular and immunological work facility and currently working on Dengue, COVID-19, Hepatitis viruses, Human Papilloma Viruses and HIV.

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