Prof. Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager
Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology, University of Heidelberg
Ralf Bartenschlager is a molecular biologist by training and is interested in the complexities of the interactions between viruses and their host cells. His work centres on hepatitis viruses, notably hepatitis C and B virus (HCV and HBV, respectively) and comparative analyses with flaviviruses (Dengue and Zikavirus). One research direction in the Bartenschlager lab deals with the strategies used by HCV and HBV to establish persistence with a focus on the innate antiviral defense. Another direction centres on the cell biology of the replication cycle of these viruses, how they exploit host cell factors and pathways for efficient replication and how this relates to virus – host evolution. Finally, knowledge gained from these studies is used to develop novel antiviral strategies, focusing on host cell dependency factors that hold promise for the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.