Dr Renate König (Head of Research Group)
Maiwenn Bergez (PhD Student)
Dr Alla Bulashevska (Bioinformatician)
Dr Liam Childs (Bioinformatician)
Dr Nina Hein-Fuchs (Postdoc)
Catharina Majer (PhD Student)
Saskia Mönch (Research Assistant)
Michaela Neuenkirch (Research Assistant)
Heike Schmitz (Research Assistant)
Moritz Schüßler (PhD Student)
Dr. Kerstin Schott (PhD Student)
Christiane Tondera (Research Assistant)
Johanna Wildemann (PhD Student)
Identification and Characterization of Host-Pathogen Interactions
Since viruses are dependent on the host cell machinery to replicate and viruses also have to overcome intrinsic and innate cellular restrictions, understanding the molecular mechanism of host and innate immune factors will significantly facilitate the development of novel therapeutic and vaccination strategies aimed at combating current and emerging pathogenic viral infections.
We seek to gain insight into the dynamic interactions affecting virus replication, specifically on the elucidation of innate immune factors. In particular, we are interested in novel host interactions with Reverse-Transcribing and RNA viruses, such as HIV, HBV and Ebola virus. Our interest is to identify novel regulators of innate pathways and how viruses are sensed by the innate immune system.
We revealed numerous cellular proteins and pathways affecting the replication of viruses by using genome-wide arrayed RNAi screening technologies complemented by proteomics and meta-analysis approaches (König et al., Nature 2010; König et al., Cell, 2008; Tripathi et al., Cell Host & Microbe, 2015). We discovered a novel negative regulator of the STING-mediated interferon response (Guo et al., Cell Host & Microbe, 2016) and dissected the molecular mechanism of regulation of a novel factor restricting HIV and HBV replication (Schott et al., Nature Communication, 2018). Currently, our focus is on establishing novel approaches such as arrayed CRISPR/Cas9 technology to complement the repertoire of genome-wide approaches and iPSC technology to provide suitable primary models for analyzing innate immune pathways (Fuchs et al., Stem Cell Research, 2019).
Head of Research Group