Institute of Virology, Philipps University
Hans-Meerwein-Str. 2
35043 Marburg
Phone: +49 (0) 6421 286 5166, Fax: +49 (0) 6421 286 8962

Research Interests:

- Functional characteristics of hemagglutinins and neuraminidases of influenza viruses from different host species. We study receptor binding and fusion promotion activity of the HA, catalytic and hemadsorption activity of the NA of wild type influenza viruses and recombinant viruses prepared by reverse genetics. We supplement these data by analysis of the HA and NA sequences and molecular modeling. These studies aim at understanding of the structure-function relationships of HAs and NAs of different viruses at the atomic level.


- Effects of HA and NA on viral cell and tissue tropism, replication efficiency and pathogenicity. To describe these effects and to specify underlying mechanisms, we study interactions of well-characterized wild type and recombinant viruses with various epithelial and non-epithelial cells and with extracellular inhibitors. In particular, we use differentiated cultures of human nasal and tracheo-bronchial epithelium to study features of viral infection and antiviral innate responses in human target tissues.


- Adaptive changes in HA and NA required for interspecies transmission and emergence of new epizootic and pandemic influenza viruses. We characterize genetic and phenotypic differences between HAs and NAs of emerging animal and human viruses (for example, H7N9 viruses in domestic poultry and humans, H1N1/1979 viruses in Eurasian pigs, pandemic human viruses from 1957, 1968 and 2009) and their putative immediate precursors from other species.  To study effects of individual mutations, we prepare relevant virus variants using reverse genetics.