GW Co-Sponsors Scientific Research Summit with Instituto Butantan and Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil on Zika Virus

November 2, 2016

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2016) — The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (SMHS) International Medicine Programs and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine are co-sponsoring a two-day scientific research summit with the Instituto Butantan and Universidade de São Paulo focused on Zika virus. The summit takes place Nov. 3-4 in Brazil.

“Over the years, SMHS has established relationships with a number of institutions in Brazil in order to further scientific research and extend exchange opportunities for both students and researchers,” said Huda M. Ayas, Ed.D., M.B.A., associate dean for international medicine and executive director of the Office of International Medicine Programs. “This summit, which has been spearheaded by Dr. Douglas Nixon, will leverage these relationships and the expertise of our faculty in order to contribute to an ongoing scientific dialogue about the Zika virus and identify possible areas of research collaboration.”

Led by Douglas Nixon, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, a group of researchers from SMHS, the Department of Biological Sciences at the GW Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and the GW Medical Faculty Associates will travel to São Paulo for the summit to connect with researchers from Instituto Butantan and Universidade de São Paulo, as well as other researchers in the region actively investigating the Zika virus. The benefits of co-sponsoring this summit include the potential to:

  • Collaborate on Zika-related grant proposals;
  • Expand research training opportunities for students, residents, faculty, and staff on diseases that have a significant burden, such as Zika; and
  • Discover new advances in Zika virus immunology, neurology, molecular biology, biochemistry, systems biology, and epidemiology.

“Continuing research in this area underscores the growing threat of Zika,” said Nixon. “Collaboration will support researchers as they do what they can to address this global emergency.”

Co-chairs for sessions during the summit include Aluisio Segurado, Leon Grayfer, Jeffrey Bethony, Ester Sabino, Cassia Mendes, Chiara Manzini, Adriana Melo, Rebecca Lynch, Renato Santana, Jorge Kalil, Douglas Nixon, Esper Kallas, Paulo Lee Ho, and Ioannis Eleftherianos.