Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Kräusslich

Welcome to the Department of Infectious Diseases, Virology

Virus­es as pathogens of humans, ani­mals and plants, the reemer­gence of long known dead­ly virus­es and the emer­gence of new virus­es in var­i­ous parts of the world, virus­es as trans­port vehi­cles in gene ther­a­py — virus­es make the head­lines almost every week. Virol­o­gy is clear­ly an area that is of spe­cial and per­son­al inter­est to every­one. Virol­o­gy is also a prime exam­ple for the inter­dis­ci­pli­nar­i­ty of mod­ern bio­sciences, apply­ing meth­ods and con­cepts of mol­e­c­u­lar and cell biol­o­gy, of bio­physics and bio­chem­istry as well as of bio­math­e­mat­ics to a spe­cif­ic area of research. On the oth­er hand, study­ing virus­es has played an enor­mous role in advanc­ing mol­e­c­u­lar and cell biol­o­gy and much of the cur­rent text­book knowl­edge in these dis­ci­plines has orig­i­nat­ed from the analy­sis of the inter­ac­tion of virus­es with their host cell and host organism.

The Depart­ment of Virol­o­gy com­pris­es diag­nos­tic and research lab­o­ra­to­ries and edu­cates stu­dents of med­i­cine and biol­o­gy. The diag­nos­tic unit employs sero­log­i­cal and mol­e­c­u­lar tests for deter­mi­na­tion and in some cas­es also quan­ti­ta­tive analy­sis of all rel­e­vant human virus­es, as well as virus iso­la­tion in tis­sue cul­ture. A major focus of our research lies on the biol­o­gy of human immun­od­e­fi­cien­cy virus, the causative agent of AIDS; oth­er projects inves­ti­gate pathogens of the intes­tine (norovirus­es, reovirus­es), arthro­pode borne virus­es and Hepati­tis E virus. Research top­ics fur­ther include the devel­ope­ment of gene ther­a­py strate­gies and antivi­ral com­pounds. Mem­bers of the depart­ment teach the virol­o­gy part of the Hei­del­berg cur­ricu­lum for med­ical stu­dents (heicumed). In addi­tion, lec­tures, prac­ti­cal cours­es and sem­i­nars are offered to biol­o­gy stu­dents, in par­tic­u­lar as part of the Major ‘Infec­tious Dis­eases’, and we offer train­ing for Bach­e­lor and mas­ters stu­dents, as well as for PhD and MD students.

On these pages we would like to inform you about the depart­ment, intro­duce our work and hope to raise your inter­est for cur­rent ques­tions in Virology.