The Global Virus Network (GVN) was established in 2011 in order to strengthen research and responses to current viral causes of human disease and to prepare against new viral pandemic threats. There are now 38 GVN Centers of Excellence and 6 Affiliate laboratories in 24 countries. GVN scientists meet annually to learn about each other's current research, address collaborative priorities and plan future programs. The 2016 meeting was held from October 23–25 in Hokkaido, Japan, in partnership with the Japanese Society for Virology, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan and the Research Center for Zoonosis Control of Hokkaido University. This report highlights the accomplishments of GVN researchers in many priority areas of medical virology, including the current Zika epidemic, infections by human papillomavirus, influenza, Ebola, Lassa, dengue, HIV, hepatitis C, and chikungunya viruses, and the development of improved diagnostics and new vaccines.