Published September 12, 2017
This past August Tiffany Butterfield, a PhD candidate at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in the Department of Microbiology, attended a week long course administered by the Global Virus Network (GVN). A one-week intensive course on basic, translational, and clinical aspects of viruses of importance to human health.
Lecturers were leading medical virologists drawn from GVN Centers. All didactic courses were on state-of-the-art aspects of research on specific viruses. Plus there was significant time for discussion and interaction with renowned medical virology leaders and opportunities to meet with policymakers and program officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Butterfield told us, “The GVN short course was an excellent week of science and research.” Some of her takeaways from the course include: networking with scientific professionals working with arboviruses; learning about integrated approaches to studying and researching Ebola, using mathematical modeling, bioinformatics, and lab science; and the GVN encourages camaraderie in that research and experience should be shared for the mutual benefit of all.
Butterfield’s PhD work is focused on assessing the role of immunometabolism in non-AIDS comorbidities in HIV infected persons. She is currently working on the role of glucose metabolism in T lymphocytes and monocytes from HIV infected women with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Her research goals also include identifying the impact of HIV infection and/or CMV co-infection on glucose metabolism in T lymphocytes and monocytes.
The GVN mission is to strengthen medical research and response to current viral causes of human disease and to prepare for new viral pandemic threats. It is an essential and critical defense against viral disease. It is a coalition comprised of leading virologists spanning more than 20 countries worldwide, all working to advance knowledge about how viruses make us sick and to develop drugs and vaccines to prevent illness and death.
The University at Buffalo HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences was added to the Global Virus Network in 2015 as a Center of Excellence. The University at Buffalo HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, is an internationally recognized leader in antiviral pharmacology and therapeutics and has been conducting antiviral research since the beginning of the HIV epidemic. In addition, the laboratory is a training site for numerous national and international faculty, pre-doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and residents, provides a global antiviral proficiency testing program through an NIH contract and conducts laboratory site assessments as a component of research quality assurance and capacity building.