Buzz: USF is new international HQ for Global Virus Network

The University of South Florida has been selected as the international headquarters of the Global Virus Network, a consortium of virologists from the academic, clinical and industry arenas collaborating to improve detection and management of viral diseases.

Dr. Robert Gallo, co-founder and Scientific Leadership Board chairman of the GVN, will join the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine faculty as the James P. Cullison Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.  Gallo will also develop and serve as director of the USF Health Virology Center. His team of researchers will join him at USF.

“Gallo will also serve as program leader for Infectious Agents and Oncogenesis at the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute; senior scientific advisor to the USF Microbiomes Institute; and senior scientific advisor to the Office of the Director of the TGH Cancer Institute,” a USF press release says. “In his role in the Morsani College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine, he will also help develop a nationally competitive virology research program with continued extramural funding and peer-reviewed publications.” 

“Gallo is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Albert Lasker Award, winning his first in 1982 for his discovery of the first human RNA tumor virus, now known as ‘retroviruses,’ called Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus-1 and its association with certain human leukemias and lymphomas, plus the discovery of the first cytokine, Interleukin-2,” the USF press release continues. “In 1986, he received the second Lasker Award for his co-discovery of HIV-1 as the cause of AIDS and the HIV blood test. Gallo was the most cited scientist in the world from 1980-1990, was ranked third in the world for scientific impact for the period 1983-2002 and published more than 1,300 scientific papers. He holds 35 honorary doctorates

Gallo, Dr. William Hall of University College Dublin and the late Dr. Reinhard Kurth of the Robert Kock Institute co-founded the GVN in 2011. Its previous headquarters was the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute of Human Virology, where Gallo was on faculty. In 2021, USF was named the GVN’s first regional headquarters for GVN. 

“This new and additional designation will enable USF Health scientists to partner with GVN experts worldwide to share ideas and research, to translate research into practical applications, to improve diagnostics and therapies and to develop vaccines,” the USF press release says.

Gallo, his research team and the GVN international headquarters arrive in Tampa one year after USF became a member of the Association of American Universities, a group of the country’s leading research universities. Over the last year, USF has set a university record for research funding.

For more information, go to this USF Health press release and Global Virus Network.

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