The focus of our laboratory is to investigate and develop vaccine strategies for infections with emerging viruses such as Ebola virus and the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and other clinically relevant viruses (including HIV, HBV).
Newly emerging infections pose a serious threat to public health because they lack effective medical countermeasures when they emerge. The WHO has constructed a list of priority pathogens that are likely to cause severe outbreaks in the future (http://www.who.int/medicines/ebola-treatment/WHO-list-of-top-emerging-diseases/en) and for which substantial research efforts are therefore needed to be prepared in such a scenario – Ebola and MERS being two of them. Our multidisciplinary team consisting of researchers from both life sciences and medicine, seeks to understand mechanisms and correlates of immune control after vaccination through clinical trials and to use our insights to create future vaccines more strategically and effectively.
We are also interested in natural immunity to viral infections and hope to gain insight into basic principles of immune protection with a special focus on cellular immunology.