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Global Virus Network Announces 7 Distinguished International Appointments to Board of Directors

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The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working together to prevent illness and death from viral disease, today announced the election of seven distinguished global leaders to its Board of Directors.

The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder of the GVN & Chair of the GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board and the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and by Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD, President of the GVN, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation at University of South Florida (USF), and Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the GVN Southeast U.S. Regional Headquarters.

The individuals elected to the board of directors of the GVN include Brett P. Giroir, MD, CEO, Altesa BioScience, USA; John Pottage, Jr., MD, Former Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, ViiV Healthcare and Non-Executive Director, Spero Therapeutics, USA; Juliette M. Tuakli, MD, MPH, Chair, Board of Trustees, United Way Worldwide; Rosarii Griffin, MEd, MSc, DPhil, FRSA, DDVS, Director, Centre for Global Development at the University of Cork College, Ireland; Stephen Israel, Vice Chairman for Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Korn Ferry, USA; Steven Phillips, MD, MPH, Vice President of Science and Strategy, COVID Collaborative, USA. The GVN also announced that Mathew L. Evins, Chairman of Evins Communications, Ltd., and a founding board member of the organization, was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the GVN’s Board of Directors as well as reelected to the position of Treasurer of the organization. David Scheer, President of Scheer & Company, Inc., was elected to serve as Vice Chairman & Secretary and Timothy Moynahan, Esq., the previous Chairman of the GVN Board of Directors, was honored as Chairman Emeritus for his outstanding leadership and service to the organization. Former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Robert P. Charrow of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, now serves as GVN’s legal counsel.

“We are so pleased to announce GVN’s new Board members, which marks the beginning of a new era for our organization,” said Dr. Gallo. “I look forward to working with these esteemed leaders in their respective fields to bring GVN’s mission to the international community to advance science and mitigate viral threats to mankind. The caliber of talent, intellect and visibility of our new Board members is a tribute to the work GVN has accomplished and continues to pursue. Further, we are most appreciative of Mr. Moynahan’s leadership of the Board in previous years, and we look forward to Mr. Evins taking the helm. Both Mr. Moynahan and Mr. Evins have been driving forces in the success of GVN since its inception. I have no doubt that Mr. Evins will continue to play an invaluable and consequential role for the GVN as well as be instrumental in leading the Board and the GVN in its mission to protect and promote the advancement of science and global health.”

Said Mr. Evins, “It has been a defining honor and privilege to work with Dr. Gallo, Dr. Bréchot and the team at the GVN since its establishment in 2011. The organization has become indispensable in the preparedness, defense and first research response to emerging, existing and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health. No other institution in the world has the GVN’s breadth, depth and scope of virology capabilities, resources and specialists, and it is the only organization that brings together the world’s foremost virus experts to collaboratively and accretively leverage their individual expertise to address the challenges, issues and problems posed by pandemic viruses.” Continued Mr. Evins, “I am incredibly grateful and honored to have been elected Chairman, and for the opportunity to work closely with the leadership and with my distinguished colleagues on the Board of Directors to advance and further the mission and consequence of the GVN. Most importantly, my overarching priority as Chairman, is to help the organization build its financial, operational, and public health resources to enable the GVN to ensure that the world will never again be unprepared, untrained and ill-equipped to deal with pandemic viruses.” Mr. Evins is Chairman of Evins Communications, Ltd., a leading branding, marketing, communications, and public relations firm which he co-founded in 1987. He previously served as CEO of Pain Therapeutics Corporation, which was engaged in developing innovative methods for the diagnosis, treatment, and abatement of chronic pain, and on the staff of Cornell Medical Center, initially as a Surgical Research Associate in the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and, subsequently, as Associate Director of The Rogosin Organ Retrieval & Preservation Laboratory.

“I am extremely honored to join the board of the GVN,” said Dr. Giroir, who formerly served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Acting FDA Commissioner, and Admiral in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. “COVID-19 demonstrated the compelling need for an organization like the GVN, comprised of the top virologists, epidemiologists, and health policy experts from around the world. My main goal is to support GVN in becoming the ‘go to’ non-partisan, science-based source of information to anticipate, prevent, and respond to global viral threats the world faces now, and will face in the coming decades.” He also served as the U.S. Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization within the Department of State. Notably, Dr. Giroir was on the front lines of the COVID-19 response as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the national lead for testing and diagnostics (“Testing Czar”).

“New and emerging viral diseases that have had significant impacts on public health have made the need for the GVN ever more vital,” said Dr. Pottage, Jr. “It is a great honor to join the GVN and be able to contribute to its important mission.” Dr. Pottage’s expertise include infectious diseases, HIV medicine, research and development, good clinical practice, safety and pharmacovigilance, and regulatory affairs.

“With the immense professional respect that I have developed for both Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Christian Bréchot, it is both an honor and extraordinary privilege to serve on the GVN Board,” said Dr. Tuakli. Dr. Tuakli is a physician leader with extensive medical, philanthropic, and executive business experience. She is also a horticulturalist. Dr. Tuakli has achieved significant and sustainable impacts in public health, pediatrics, ethics and philanthropy in Africa, USA and Europe.

“I’m very excited about becoming a board member of GVN,” said Dr. Griffin. Dr. Griffin’s expertise is in ‘International and Comparative Education’ focusing on ‘Education as a Humanitarian Response,’ ‘Education in Emergencies’ and ‘Education for Global Sustainable Development.’ “I’m looking forward to contributing to its mission and values. I also hope to bring different perspectives to the issues under consideration by the GVN, especially from a social science perspective relevant to viral scientific issues in this increasingly globalized world. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to GVN’s forthcoming Board meeting and proceedings.”

“I am very grateful to having been selected to join the GVN Board and look forward to helping advance its timely and important mission,” said Mr. Israel. Mr. Israel is an acknowledged industry expert and consultant mainly to venture backed, emerging biotechnology companies whose management needs are entrepreneurial and heavily focused on drug discovery and development.

“It’s safe to say that the field of medical virology has never been more broadly recognized as being critical to human safety and advancement than it is today,” said Dr. Phillips. “For this reason, I am especially honored to be asked to serve on the Board of the world’s pre-eminent coalition of human and animal virologists. GVN’s revitalized board is positioned to help steer this organization to fulfill its ambitious mission in the shadow of our current pandemic. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of GVN’s next chapter.” Dr. Phillips is a medical and public health professional who has held leadership positions in global health, international development, and infectious disease epidemiology spanning private, government, academic, non-profit and think-tank sectors.

“It will be for me a great pleasure and an honor to interact with these new board members,” said Dr. Bréchot. “The Global Virus Network is at an inflection point. We have significant ambitions for the coming years, and I know the new board members will offer their high-level expertise to significantly contribute and achieve these important goals.” Before serving as president of the Pasteur Institute from 2013 to 2017, Dr. Bréchot was vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Institut-Merieux, a company that develops new approaches to fight infectious diseases and cancers. He also served as the general director of Inserm, the French national agency for biomedical research from 2002 to 2007. As professor of hepatology and cell biology at Necker School of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, he led the clinical department of liver diseases at Necker-Enfants Maldes Hospital from 1997 to 2001.

“I am proud to have been serving on the Board of the GVN, an organization which has unique importance in the world today as we face the challenges of the current and potential future pandemics,” said David Scheer, President of Scheer & Company, Inc. and newly elected Vice Chairman & Secretary of the GVN Board of Directors. “I am particularly thrilled to work with the other members of the Board and with Bob Gallo, whom I have known since the late 1970s.” Mr. Scheer is an advisor and serial entrepreneur in the life sciences including building two antiviral drug development companies. His career includes providing corporate strategic and transactional advisory services in the life sciences industry and has been a participant as advisor in a wide variety of initiatives in the global and public health arenas, working with some of the top researchers, thought-leaders, and institutions.

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