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Global Virus Network Adds Seven Prominent Leaders to Board of Directors

Thursday, May 16, 2013

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 Global Viurs Network (GVN)

Vinton Cerf and William Haseltine to serve as Advisors

BALTIMORE--The Board of Directors of the Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from viral disease, today announced the addition of seven new members to its Board of Directors; Gina Adams, Günter Lorenz, Charles Modica, Franco Nuschese, Sajan Pillai, Jeffrey Schragg and Zaid Al Siksek. Also joining the Board members are newly appointed Senior Advisors Vinton Cerf and William Haseltine. The announcement was made today by Dr. Robert C. Gallo, co-founder of the GVN and Chair of GVN’s Scientific Leadership Board, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Chair of the GVN Board of Directors.

“GVN’s scientific leadership is enthusiastic about these new developments and we thank the new board members for joining GVN,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “As GVN works to bridge science and public health, we need recognized leaders from a range of backgrounds and professional experiences. These colleagues bring enormous talent and insight to our network.”

“Pandemic viral diseases are a real and present danger, yet the world is still woefully unprepared to prevent and control them,” said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a Director at the The Rock Creek Group in Washington, DC. “I am delighted that these distinguished leaders will join our efforts to reduce the danger of epidemics by strengthening our science and supporting our scientists.”

“I am honored to join such an esteemed group of professionals and experts who are dedicated to increasing medical research, preparedness and responses to global viral pandemic threats,” said Gina Adams, Corporate Vice President for Government Affairs at FedEx Corporation. “I look forward to contributing to the organization with my experience at FedEx, which reaches 220 countries and territories around the world and has worked alongside groups like this to help in times of crisis, whether it is delivering disaster relief supplies or life-saving medicines.”

Günter Lorenz, former CFO of BMW AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Procar AG, said “I am thrilled to join GVN because I am convinced that the globalized world needs a completely new approach to resolve medical, financial and environmental problems. We are all interdependent and unable to solve our problems without a worldwide network. We have to be more open-minded and on the cutting edge of each new development.”

Dr. Charles Modica, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor, St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies, said “The Global Virus Network is particularly important today since new forms of viruses are emerging and spreading around the world at a rapid rate. There has never been a greater need for scientists to collaborate across borders. GVN is essential to safeguard health of the global population."

"I feel honored to have the privilege of serving on the Board of the Global Virus network to support Dr. Gallo and his extraordinary collaborators worldwide in achieving our critical mission of strengthening medical preparedness and response to viral diseases,” said Franco Nuschese, President of Georgetown Entertainment Group. “The talent and commitment of these doctors, scientists and business leaders is unparalleled; I am certain their alliance will prove game changing in the field of viral medicine. I stand humbled to be in their company and committed to support them in any way possible."

“I look forward to assimilating the alliance of innovation and technology to vitalize GVN’s cause. I am passionate about GVN’s mission, its value to mankind, and I am dedicated to creating higher visibility for GVN across the US and the globe,” said Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST-Global. “Wealth is not new. Neither is charity. But the idea of using private wealth imaginatively, constructively, and systematically to attack the fundamental problems of mankind is new.”

Jeffrey Schragg, Tax Partner of BDO in Mclean, VA, said “I am excited to join GVN at this dynamic time in its growth as an International NGO. I hope my knowledge from working with other International NGOs and exempt organizations will assist GVN in accomplishing its mission.”

Zaid Al Siksek, Managing Director of TRANSCO, Abu Dhabi, UAE, will also join GVN’s Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Al Siksek served as Chief Executive Officer for the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi from January 2008 and he held the position of Director, Health Policy and Regulation for the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi from September 2005.

Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, and Dr. William Haseltine, President of ACCESS Health International, Inc. will also lend their expertise to the growing GVN.

Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, said “It is an honor to join the GVN. Such an initiative is not only timely but necessary in an era when the world is so connected and so vulnerable to rapid viral propagation.”

“I am pleased to join the Global Virus network as a senior advisor,” said Dr. William Haseltine, President of ACCESS Health International, Inc. “The Global Virus Network fills a vital gap between disease surveillance and the scientific community. Once an outbreak of viral disease is detected, the scientific community must be quickly mobilized to understand the threat and to craft defenses-new diagnostic tests, vaccines, drugs and other containment and control measures. GVN links excellent virus research groups around the world on six continents, enabling the scientific community to respond quickly and efficiently.”

About Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from more than 20 countries. The GVN’s mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic viral threats through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more information, please contact Nora Grannell at ngrannell@gvn.org.

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