TAMPA — The University of South Florida was tapped to be the southeast regional headquarters of the Global Virus Network, a coalition of the “world’s foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans and some animals.”
The partnership will put USF Health — which encompasses the health and medicine colleges at USF — on the front lines of planning for and defending against the next pandemic.
The February announcement makes USF Health the first regional headquarters of the Global Virus Network, which is based in Baltimore and includes virologists in 34 countries, according to a news release from the network. The designation will allow university scientists will partner with those network experts to share research and ultimately develop vaccines.
The two organizations already had close ties: Dr. Christian Bréchot, president of the network, is also associate vice president for international partnerships and innovation at USF and a professor at the university’s Morsani College of Medicine.
“USF Health is delighted to be a leading contributor to GVN’s administration, and to support and promote GVN’s virology research and public health policies,” Bréchot wrote in a statement. “With our growing strength in infectious diseases at USF Health, the university is also well positioned to help GVN train and mentor the future leaders who can find new solutions to protect us against contagious diseases.”
Bréchot and network Vice President Linman Li, also of USF Health, will lead the new regional headquarters, focusing on attaining more research funding and expanding research and training initiatives, according to the news release.