Research Group Translational Virology

The junior research group "Translational Virology" uses scientific research techniques to answer virological questions arising from the clinical everyday life of infected patients.We aim to improve diagnostics as well as develop novel therapeutic options from the lab to the bedside. To achieve this, we work in close cooperation with the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology of the Hannover Medical School.

We focus on the hepatitis E virus (HEV), the most common viral trigger of acute liver inflammation. The virus has become increasingly important both worldwide and in Germany in recent years. In 2018, HEV was found to affect a large number of individuals in Germany. Surveys of blood donors showed that one in about 800 to 1000 blood donors is infected with hepatitis E. The Robert Koch Institute estimates that approximately 420,000 people in Germany have contact with the virus each year. 
However, research on HEV is still in its infancy and there are key areas of the life cycle, pathogenicity and transmission are not fully understood. In addition, there is no approved antiviral therapy for the virus up to date.

To address these gaps in our knowledge, an efficient cell culture system has been developed in recent years that allows the study of the various steps of viral propagation. 
We use this cell culture system to fill these knowledge gaps in close collaboration with national and international cooperation partners