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ICTV Executive Committee Nominations, 2017-2020

The ICTV Plenary Session at the International Congress of Virology in Singapore is scheduled for 11:30 – 12:30 hr on Monday July 17th 2017 in the Sands Grand Ballroom I – L (Level 5). Voting members of the ICTV (i.e. Members of the Executive Committee, Life Members, Subcommittee Members, and National Representatives) will have the opportunity to elect virologists to serve 3-year terms on the Executive Committee in the following positions: President, Vice-President, Business Secretary (6 year term), and 8 ‘elected members’. The other positions on the Executive Committee are not the subject of voting at the Plenary Session; they are: 2 Secretaries (Andrew King and Elliot Lefkowitz) serving 6 year terms to expire in 2020, and 6 Subcommittee Chairs appointed directly by the Executive Committee (see list below).  

The Executive Committee is grateful to the following individuals who have agreed to stand for election or re-election. 

Position Name Field Country
President Andrew Davison* Vertebrate DNA viruses UK
Vice-President Stuart Siddell Vertebrate RNA viruses UK
Business Secretary Arcady Mushegian General interest USA
Elected member Sead Sabanadzovic* Plant and fungal viruses USA
  Max Nibert Fungal viruses USA
  Robert Harrison* Invertebrate viruses USA
  Mart Krupovic* Viruses of Archaea France
  Arvind Varsani* ssDNA viruses USA

 * candidate standing for a second term in this role

The Executive Committee has received a number of nominations for the remaining three vacant elected member positions. Nominations are now closed. 

 Subcommittee Chairs

Unlike the other positions on the EC, Subcommittee Chairs are appointed directly by the EC. The appointments for 2017-2020 are as follows:

Subcommittee Name Country
Animals1 (DNA and retroviruses) Balázs Harrach* Hungary
Animals (dsRNA and ssRNA-) Jens Kuhn USA
Animals (ssRNA+) Nick Knowles* UK
Plants F Murilo Zerbini Brazil
Prokaryotes and Archaea Andrew Kropinski* Canada
Fungi and Algae Peter Simmonds UK

1 vertebrates and invertebrates
* second term as Subcommittee Chair


Candidate details

Andrew Davison

Professor Andrew Davison has worked in Glasgow (UK) since 1976, except for a couple of years (1986-1987) spent at the National Institutes of Health (USA). He leads an MRC programme at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research ( His interests are in the content, function and evolution of herpesvirus genomes, with a major focus on human cytomegalovirus ( He has served the ICTV as an elected member of the Executive Committee (2005-2008), the chair of the Vertebrate Virus Subcommittee (2008-2014), and President (2014-2017). He is a member of the Herpesvirales Study Group (1993-2017), having also been chair (1999-2005), and is a member of the Adenoviridae Study Group (2005-2017). He has further supported virology via the Microbiology Society (UK; formerly the Society for General Microbiology), having been a member of the Virology Division (1991-1994 and 2010-2013), an editor of the Journal of General Virology (1999-2005) and a member of Council (2012-2016).

Peter Simmonds

Peter Simmonds is Professor of Virology at the University of Oxford (UK). Following graduation in medicine, he completed his postgraduate medical training (MRCPath 1995) and leads a varied research programme in viral pathogenesis, molecular epidemiology and evolution. He has served as an elected member of the ICTV Executive Committee between 2011–2017. He is a member of the Flaviviridae and Picornaviridae ICTV Study Groups. Over his period on the Executive Committee, with co-applicants, Andrew Davison and Stuart Siddell, he successfully obtained long term grant funding from the Wellcome Trust that is focussed towards the creation of an open access, online version of the ICTV Report, the development of bioinformatics and taxonomy resources and single topic meetings with invited external experts to discuss fundamental issues of virus taxonomy. The first of these on the classification of metagenomic sequences has led to the publication of an influential advisory paper on the incorporation of viruses known only from sequence data into the ICTV taxonomy (PMID: 28134265). He is an advisor for the NCBI RefSeq Virus group.

Stuart Siddell

Stuart Siddell BSc(Liv), PhD(Warw), Dr rer nat habil is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol, UK. His research focused mainly on the structure and function of the coronavirus replication machinery. He also has a particular interest in the evolution of viruses in relation to the development of disease. He is a past chair of the ICTV Coronaviridae Study Group and has served on the ICTV Executive Committee since 2008. He is currently Chair of the RNA (–) virus Subcommittee and is a member of the editorial board for the online ICTV 10th Report. 

 Jens Kuhn

Jens H. Kuhn, MD, PhD, PhD, MS, is a Principal at Tunnell Government Services (TGS), Inc., Bethesda, MD, USA, tasked as the Virology Lead (Contractor) at NIH/NIAID/DCR’s new Biosafety Level 4 facility, the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick) in Frederick, MD, USA. He is also TGS Team Leader for all 10 IRF-Frederick TGS contractors. Dr. Kuhn specializes in highly virulent viral human and animal pathogens. He is the author of “Filoviruses: A Compendium of 40 Years of Epidemiological, Clinical, and Laboratory Studies” (Vienna: Springer, 2008) and co-author of “The Soviet Biological Weapons Program—A History” (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012), and has studied and worked in Germany, Italy, Malta, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea. In the US, he rotated through or worked at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; the Arthropod-borne Infectious Disease Laboratory (AIDL) in Fort Collins, CO; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA; and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, MD. Dr. Kuhn was the first western scientist with permission to work in a former Soviet biological warfare facility, SRCVB "Vector" in Siberia, Russia, within the US Department of Defense’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. Dr. Kuhn was a contributor to the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland’s Controlling Dangerous Pathogens Project and a member of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation’s CBW Scientist Working Group. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), Chair of the ICTV Filoviridae and Mononegavirales Study Groups, and a member of the ICTV Arenaviridae, Bornaviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Nyamiviridae Study Groups. He furthermore serves as a Subject Matter Expert for NCBI for all mononegaviruses as a member of the NCBI Genome Annotation Virus Working Group and the database RefSeq. He served or serves on the editorial boards of 10 journals, and has been a peer reviewer for more than 60 journals, including Cell, Cell Host & Microbe, Emerging Infectious Diseases, JAMA, The Lancet. Infectious Diseases, Nature Microbiology, Nature Protocols, PLoS Pathogens, Science, and Journal of Virology. Dr. Kuhn was a member of the 2009-2011 US National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on “Animal Models for Assessing Countermeasures to Bioterrorism Agents”; and is continuously involved with AAAS’s and the US State Department’s bioengagement efforts in the BMENA Region, Turkey, and the NIS countries. Dr. Kuhn can be found on LinkedIn at and on ResearchGate at

 Robert Harrison

Dr. Harrison received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1996 and currently holds the position of Research Molecular Biologist at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, where he has worked since 2005.  His research is focused on identifying and characterizing new virus isolates with potential to control insect pests, with an emphasis on viruses of family Baculoviridae but recently including viruses of Iflaviridae.  He has served as a member of the ICTV Baculoviridae Study Group from 2011 to 2014 and as both chair of the Baculoviridae/Nudiviridae Study Group and as Elected Member of the ICTV Executive Committee since 2014.  During this time, he has prepared and submitted five taxonomy proposals creating a total of 19 new species of Baculoviridae.  One of these proposals called for the removal of a species of genus Alphabaculovirus in recognition that the virus isolates of two listed species, Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus and Helicoverpa zea single nucleopolyhedrovirus, actually belonged to the same species.  After ratification, this proposal saved a biopesticide company from having to apply for additional unnecessary approvals to sell a biopesticide consisting of two different Helicoverpa spp. baculovirus isolates, and highlighted for Dr. Harrison the practical significance of virus taxonomy.  

Arcady Mushegian

Dr. Mushegian received his Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1989 at Moscow State University. In 1992, he received the Award of Merit from the International Lilac Society for early work on virus diagnostics in lilacs. For the last 25 years, he has been working in the field of computational biology, studying evolution of genes and genomes. His recent work on virus bioinformatics includes analysis of gene families in bacteriophages, using prophage signature genes to identify contamination of eukaryotic genome sequences by bacterial DNA, study of endogenous pararetroviruses in plants, and identification of virus replicons in moss, lycopod and gymnosperm transcriptome libraries. Since 2012, Dr. Mushegian is a program officer at the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences division at the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Sead Sabanadzovic

Sead Sabanadzovic (Sejo) is a Professor at Mississippi State University (MSU), USA, with a primary interest in plant and fungal viruses. He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in Plant Virology from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM-IAMB) and from the University of Bari, Italy, in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Before joining MSU in mid 2004, Dr. Sabanadzovic worked at the CIHEAM-IAMB (1997-2003) and briefly at the University of California, Davis (2003-2004). For a number of years Dr. Sabanadzovic has been actively involved in taxonomy and nomenclature of viruses. His recent involvements include reorganization of families Endornaviridae and Closteroviridae, as well as establishment of the family Amalgaviridae. Currently, he is serving as an Elected member of the ICTV Executive Committee, Chair of the ICTV Amalgaviridae Study Group, and a member of four ICTV Study Groups (Partitiviridae, Closteroviridae, Endornaviridae and Tymoviridae). Dr. Sabanadzovic is an Editor for five international journals in the field of plant pathology and general virology and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for additional 40. His scientific achievements have been documented in more than 80 articles (

 Mart Krupovic

Dr. Mart Krupovic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Institut Pasteur of Paris. He obtained his Ph.D. in general microbiology in 2010 at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include the origin and evolution of viruses, virus-host interactions in bacteria and archaea, and relationships between viruses and non-viral mobile genetic elements. He is currently serving the ICTV as an elected member of the Executive Committee, Chair of the ICTV Plasmaviridae and Bidnaviridae Study Groups, and a member of the Amalgaviridae Study Group. Dr. Krupovic also serves as a Viral Genome Advisor for the NCBI and an Editor/Editorial Board Member for 5 journals, including Virus Evolution (Oxford University Press) and Virology (Elsevier). He has co-authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters (

 Arvind Varsani

Arvind Varsani is a molecular virologist at The Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Center for Evolution and Medicine and the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He works across ecosystems to study viral dynamics and is particularly interested in viruses with small, circular, ssDNA genomes.  He is currently serving on the ICTV Executive committee as an Elected Member and also serves on three ICTV study groups (Bidnaviridae, Circoviridae and Geminiviridae). Varsani is also a Viral Genome Advisor for NCBI / GenBank and is a member of the advisory board of the journal ‘Virology’. He has authored over 180 journal articles.

Max Nibert

Max L. Nibert, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Microbiology & Immunobiology and a faculty trainer in the Virology Training Program at Harvard Medical School. His primary interests relate to structure–function relationships in RNA viruses, especially dsRNA viruses. He has been an active member of the ICTV for the past 6 years, serving as chair of the Totiviridae Study Group, member of the Partitiviridae Study Group, and for the past 3 years chair of the Fungal & Protist Viruses Subcommittee.