Research foci Experimental Virology

The institute explores basic replication principles of human pathogenic RNA viruses and aims to translate this knowledge into improvements for prevention or treatment of RNA viral infectious diseases. We focus on the analysis of early infection steps (viral cell entry) and late phases of the viral replication cycle including virus assembly and release.

The scientists screen compound libraries to discover antiviral molecules; they investigate how antibodies inhibit viral cell entry, and how viruses evaded them. By this means, they aim to contribute to discovery of lead molecules that merit further development as antivirals and to provide information that facilitates development of vaccines.

The researchers study how the interplay between viral and host factors determines host susceptibility to infection and disease and how it causes viral tissue and species tropism. Thus, they aim to understand viral pathogenesis and transmission across species (e.g. from animals to humans), to define risk factors of infection.