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USF chosen as Global Virus Network HQ

Ashley Morales

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The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute is a 395,000 square foot, 13-story facility that serves as a hub for students, faculty and staff. Photos provided.

The University of South Florida has announced its Tampa campus will serve as host for the international headquarters of the Global Virus Network.

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a coalition of leading virologists from around the world working to advance knowledge about viral pathogens and pandemic viruses. The GVN brings top virologists and public health experts together to leverage their strengths and focus global teams of scientists on studying how viruses make us sick, developing drugs and vaccines to lower the likelihood and severity of illness and preventing death.

USF and GVN leaders came together June 5 for a formal signing ceremony following a vote of approval by the USF Board of Trustees. GVN co-founder Dr. Robert Gallo will also join the faculty of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and develop and serve as director of the USF Health Virology Center.

From left to right: Dr. Robert Gallo, co-founder of the Global Virus Network; Linman Li, director of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Global Virus Network; Sten Vermund, president of the Global Virus Network; Mathew Evins, treasurer and emeritus executive chair of the Global Virus Network board; Dr. Charles Lockwood, executive vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine; Dr. Jacqueleen Reyes Hull, assistant vice president for administration at USF Health; Brett Giroir, executive chair of the Global Virus Network board.

“We are honored to grow our partnership with the Global Virus Network, a highly regarded coalition of leading experts who share the University of South Florida’s mission to find solutions for complex problems and create a healthier future,” said USF President Rhea Law in a prepared statement. “We are quite pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Gallo and his team, who will help elevate USF’s research impact as they continue to advance our knowledge in critical medical fields.”

In addition to his role at GVN and as a USF professor, Gallo will hold leadership roles at the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute and USF Microbiomes Institute. In his role in the Morsani College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine, he will help develop a “nationally competitive” virology research program.

Robart Gallo, MD, co-founder of the Global Virus Network, speaking June 5.

The news of USF being chosen at GVN’s international headquarters comes on the heels of USF being named GVN’s regional headquarters in 2021. According to USF, this new designation will enable USF Health scientists to partner with GVN experts worldwide to share ideas and research, translate research into practical applications, improve diagnostics and therapies and develop vaccines.

“We could not be more pleased to increase our collaboration with USF — already a GVN Center of Excellence — whose very mission emphasizes high-impact global research,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, GVN’s executive chair and CEO of Altesa Biosciences, in a prepared statement. “It’s what both organizations do. This is a mutually beneficial partnership that we’re delighted to forge with USF.”     

Gallo and his team of research scientists will move from the University of Maryland into labs at USF over the coming weeks. He is set to begin his work in July. 

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