Thiruvananthapuram: Global Virology Network's leading lights, including co-founders Robert Gallo and William Hall and president Christian Brechot, will attend the inauguration of the State Government's Institute of Advanced Virology (IAV) at the Life Sciences Park, near here, on Saturday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will unveil IAV first phase on the 25-acre park, part of Technocity at Thonnakkal. Dr Shyamsunder Kottilil, Director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Dr. M. V Pillai, (Oncologist), Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and Dr M. Sarngadharan, Lipton Bionetics, Kensington, USA are among speakers at the inaugural function.
An international virology discussion meet to formulate future activities of IAV for tackling emerging and re-emerging viral infections will be held after the inauguration.
Virologist Jacob T John of Christian Medical College, Vellore, who has a key role in structuring IAV, will focus on recruiting a team of virologists during the next six months.
IAV, initiated by Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, aims to be an internationally reputed centre in advanced research on viruses and diseases spread by them. GVN centre in Netherlands/Japan will handhold IAV in the initial phase.
Favourable environmental conditions of Kerala, demographic change, the expansion of the agricultural activities, social behaviour patterns, intensive air traffic, transporting both vectors and infected humans, the import of animals carrying viruses, large-scale ecological alterations like dam and road building, and lack of adequate resources and infrastructure for disease control activities put the State at a higher risk of epidemics of emerging infections.
In India, National Institute of Virology Pune is the only Institute which addresses nation-wide requirements of viral diagnosis and management of viral diseases, the work load of NIV is beyond its carrying capacity.
Headquartered at Baltimore, GVN represents experts from centres of excellence for research in medical virology from across the globe, dedicated to understanding, preventing and eradicating viral disease threats to mankind.
GVN brings together the best medical virologists to leverage individual strengths and to focus global teams of scientists on key scientific problems.
The Institute will strengthen epidemic preparedness, rapid response and risk communication to the public apart from the high-end research in the area of basic as well as translational virology.
During the last three decades, almost 20 new viral pathogens have been detected. Some of these-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis viruses-have devastated populations.
The pandemic of serious acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) unequivocally demonstrated the rapidity with which new viruses can travel across the world. The threat of a pandemic, with one of the subtypes of influenza virus, is considered the greatest public health challenge in the millennium.
IAV's first phase prefab building of 28,000 sq ft was constructed by the Ooralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society. The main one-lakh sq ft building housing the lab is due for completion in August....