Research Group Translational Virology

The "Translational Virology" junior research group is dedicated to investigating virological inquiries that arise from the clinical experiences of infected patients, utilizing foundational scientific methodologies. The primary objective of our research is to contribute to the enhancement of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches within the clinical context. We maintain a close partnership with Hannover Medical School, particularly with the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Infectious Diseases, and Endocrinology, led by Prof. H. Wedemeyer.

Our primary area of focus centers on the Hepatitis E virus (HEV), the predominant viral culprit behind acute liver inflammation. HEV's relevance in Germany has notably increased in recent years. In 2018, it was established that HEV affects a substantial portion of the population in Germany. Shockingly, approximately one out of every 800 to 1000 blood donors is found to be infected with Hepatitis E, and it is estimated by the Robert Koch Institute that around 420,000 individuals in Germany come into contact with the virus annually. Nevertheless, HEV research remains in its nascent stages.

To bridge these gaps in knowledge, an efficient cell culture system has been developed in recent years, allowing us to explore various stages of virus replication. Through close collaboration with both national and international partners, we employ cutting-edge methodologies to investigate how virus replication can be modulated, all while maintaining a steadfast clinical orientation (translational focus).

Funding: German Centre for Infection Research, VW-Foundation HIOH Seed Grant