Creating the Future

Video portrait Hector Fellow Prof. Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager

Cellu­lar Effect of Viruses — From Hepati­tis C Virus Research to SARS-COV‑2

Under­stand­ing how viruses work and how to treat them is one of the major goals of Prof. Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager's research. He is Direc­tor of the Depart­ment of Molec­u­lar Virol­ogy at the Centre for Infec­tious Diseases at the Medical Faculty of the Univer­sity of Heidel­berg and Head of the Division of Virus-Associ­ated Carcino­gen­e­sis at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidel­berg. For his research, he received the presti­gious Robert Koch Award in 2015, the Lasker Award in 2016, and in 2017, he was awarded the Hector Science Award.

Together with his team, Prof. Barten­schlager inves­ti­gates the repli­ca­tion strate­gies and immuno­bi­ol­ogy of medically impor­tant hepati­tis viruses, flaviviruses (dengue virus and Zika virus) and SARS coronavirus‑2. He succeeded in devel­op­ing cell culture models for the hepati­tis C virus (HCV), with which the viral repli­ca­tion cycle could be repro­duced in vitro for the first time. These models formed the basis for the devel­op­ment of antivi­ral drugs against HCV that elimi­nate the virus in more than 95% of those treated.

Due to the Corona pandemic, the team around Prof. Barten­schlager has adapted the research and put the main focus on SARS-COV2 research. The long-term goal of the research is to develop broad-spectrum viral medica­tion and the associ­ated treat­ment of viral diseases.

Yannick Stahl is doing his doctor­ate at Heidel­berg Univer­sity Hospi­tal and is funded by the Hector Fellow Academy. Together with Ralf Barten­schlager, he is inves­ti­gat­ing the patho­gen­e­sis of the SARS-COV2 virus and novel host cell factors that promote virus replication.

Prof. Barten­schlager is member of the Hector Fellow Academy (HFA). The young science academy sees itself as an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary network for cutting-edge research and it supports innov­a­tive research beyond the borders of insti­tutes and fields of research. The Hector Fellow Academy paves the way for inter­dis­ci­pli­nary projects between well renowned profes­sors from the STEM fields as well as medicine and psychol­ogy. Further­more, the HFA is commit­ted to the promo­tion of young scien­tists. The academy offers funded doctoral positions for ambitious young scien­tists under super­svi­sion of a Hector Fellow. Through the connec­tion of excel­lent researchers from differ­ent fields of research, the Hector Fellow Academy provides new impulses for innov­a­tive projects, sociopo­lit­i­cal discourse and the solution of global challenges. At the same time, it strength­ens Germany as a center for science. Since 2020, the HFA also awards the Hector Research Career Devel­op­ment Award. This prize is awarded to W1 assis­tant profes­sors and junior research group leaders to support them on their way to a professorship.

Date 20.01.2022
Tags Video; Portrait; Medicine; Biology