Brings Decades of Scientific & Organizational Leadership To Advance GVN’s Mission
MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Global Virus Network (GVN), an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and wellbeing, today announced the appointment of Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD as President of the GVN. Dr. Bréchot, who recently stepped down as President of France’s internationally renowned Institut Pasteur, will assume his new position with the GVN effective October 1, 2017. The announcement was made during the opening address of the 9th International Global Virus Meeting in Melbourne, Australia by Prof. Robert Gallo, MD, the GVN’s co-founder and scientific director, and by Prof. Sharon Lewin, MD, PhD, director of The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a GVN Center of Excellence.
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, “When the GVN was founded in 2011, our mandate was to safeguard mankind from potential catastrophic and devastating pandemic virus by coalescing the finest public health expertise in order to undertake collaborative research, to train the next generation of virologists as well as to catalyze, engender and foment advocacy amongst leaders of government, the private sector and the scientific community throughout the world. While we have made great strides in the last six years, having the unprecedented expertise, inspired vision and consummate leadership of Dr. Bréchot, a man of extraordinary ability in public health and basic science virology, will enable the GVN to fulfill its mandate and realize its ultimate potential for the betterment of mankind,” continued Dr. Gallo.
“When Bob introduced me to the GVN, I was impressed with the phenomenal caliber of virologists deeply engaged and committed to the vision of the organization,” said Dr. Bréchot. “The world needs the GVN’s network of invaluable, diversified experts to be talking to each other, sharing information freely, and mitigating and preparing for viral threats. The GVN is an invaluable and critical global resource. I look forward to helping the GVN grow and develop, both operationally and financially as well as to working with Bob Gallo without whom the GVN would not be possible.”
Prof. Lewin said, “I joined the GVN because I agreed with my colleagues that there is a palpable need to engage with and empower the world’s foremost virologists to address current and future pandemic threats. I am thrilled that Dr. Gallo and I have the honor of making this important announcement at the 9th International Global Virus Meeting. We are enthusiastic about working with Dr. Bréchot and the GVN to defend mankind from dangerous and deadly viruses.”
Since October 2013, Dr. Bréchot has served as President of the Institut Pasteur developing programs to recruit eminent scientists, implementing an international multidisciplinary education and teaching program, fostering collaborative research and training strategies with major universities and research organizations, coalescing the international network of 33 Pasteur Institutes to encompass a global scientific vision and coordinated training activities, and positioning an ambitious and internationally oriented strategy for technology transfer and fundraising.
Dr. Bréchot held previous leadership positions with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the Institut Mérieux, and the BIOASTER Technology Research Institute. He previously served as a university professor, hospital practitioner, and head of departments of hepatology and cell biology. In 1982, Dr. Bréchot received a Doctor of Medicine from Paris Descartes University (Paris VII) and a PhD in biochemistry from the Paris Descartes University. Throughout his career, Dr. Bréchot’s research has focused on viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly regarding their role in liver cancer and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer. He is a member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received a myriad of prestigious awards. Dr. Bréchot has authored more than 350 articles published in prestigious medical and scientific journals.
Dr. Gallo, who conceived and co-founded the GVN, is distinguished and revered for co-discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS and for developing the HIV blood test, along with colleagues from the Institut Pasteur. The GVN concept began back in the 1980’s when a small group of medical virologists realized that virtually no working virologist had a global directive for researching the cause of AIDS during the earliest years of the epidemic. Conversely, important groups such as the World Health Organization which did have a global mandate for combatting the new disease had virtually no resident expertise in the kind of virus that was subsequently shown to be the cause of AIDS, namely, a retrovirus. Examining the history of other great epidemics of the 20th century, Influenza, Polio, and the more recent outbreak of SARS as well as several other viruses, reveals similar disconnects between available expertise and the urgent public need to identify causation and prevention modes.
About the Global Virus Network (GVN)
The Global Virus Network (GVN), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, is an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and wellbeing. Founded in 2011, the GVN was founded to safeguard mankind from potential catastrophic and devastating pandemic virus by coalescing the finest public health expertise in order to undertake collaborative research, to train the next generation of virologists as well as to catalyze, engender and foment advocacy amongst leaders of government, the private sector and the scientific community throughout the world. It is the world’s only network of top basic medical virologists from around the globe covering all classes of human viral threats. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews
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Global Virus Network (GVN)
Nora Samaranayake, 1 443-823-0613
Source: Global Virus Network (GVN)