Prof. Dr. Albert Osterhaus participates in RESIST research project B7.

My Research Interest in RESIST

During aging, the performance of the immune system decreases, due to so-called immuno-senescence. This is an important reason why older adults are more susceptible to cancer and infections, like influenza. Therefore, vaccinations against some infections are specifically recommended for them. However, due to immuno-senescence also vaccination does not work as well as in younger people. Our research interest in RESIST is to better understand the mechanisms of the reduced immune response to infections and vaccinations, as well as immune control in persistent infections such as those caused by the varicella zoster virus. This will allow the development of more effective vaccines and therapies.

Prof. Osterhaus about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Albert Osterhaus – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2014 Professor / Founding Director, Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, TiHo Hannover (RIZ-TiHo) 

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1974 – 1996 Veterinarian & PhD Thesis, Utrecht University. Registered veterinary microbiologist 

Academic and Research Posts

  • 1978 – 1989 Head Section Animal Viruses, RIVM, Bilthoven, The Netherlands 

  • 1989 – 1994 Head Laboratory of Immunobiology, RIVM

  • 1990 – 2010 Professor of Environmental Virology, State University Utrecht 

  • 1993 – 2015 Professor of Virology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam 

  • 1993 – 2015 Head of the Department of Viroscience, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam 

  • 1993 – 2015 Director National Influenza Center (NIC), Rotterdam

  • 1995 – 2000 Director WHO Global Reference Laboratory for Measles, Rotterdam 

  • 2003 – 2015 WHO National Reference Laboratory for Measles and Rubella with RIVM 

  • 1995 – 2015 Director WHO Collaborating Centre Arboviruses and Haemorrhagic Fever 

  • Since 2011 Professor of Wildlife Virology and Virus Discovery, University Utrecht 

  • Since 2013 Professor University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) 

  • Since 2014 Founding Director RIZ-TiHo 

Other Scientific Roles

  • Since 1993 Associate Editor, Vaccine Journal

  • 2007 – 2015 Chairman of the Postgraduate School Molecular Medicine Erasmus MC 

  • 2008 – 2015 Chairman of the Master programme Infection and Immunity 

  • Since 2012 Editor-in-Chief, Current Opinion in Virology, ONE HEALTH Journal 

Awards and Prizes

  • 1985 Schimmel Viruly Award: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht

  • 1989 Heine Medin Award: European Society against Virus Diseases

  • 1992  Ciba Geigy Prize for Research in Animal Health

  • 1993  Laureate Van Loghem lecture, Dutch Society for Immunology

  • 1995 Firkin Oration, Australian Society for Medical Research 

  • 1998 M.W.Beijerinck Virology Award, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences

  • 2000 UK Royal Society invited lecture on Catastrophes after crossing species barriers 

  • 2002 The ESCV Gardner Lecture – Viruses emerging from animal reservoirs

  • 2004 James H. Nakano Citation – CDC prize for exceptional scientific publications. 

  • 2004 Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg-Oragon prize

  • 2004 Reinier de Graaf medal – for exceptional contribution to medicine

  • 2006 Federa prize – for original and exceptional research achievements 

  • 2006  European Respiratory Society – European Lung Foundation Award

  • 2007  Prix scientifique Louis D – Académie des sciences de l’Institut de France

  • 2007  Allan Granoff Lectureship in Virology Award, St. Jude’s Hospital

  • 2008  Erasmus Award, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2010 ESCMID Award for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 

  • 2012 WSAVA One Health Award for cross-species viral infection 

  • 2015  Chanchiani Global Health Research Award (McMaster, USA)

  • 2016 Doctorate h.c. University Liege, Belgium

  • 2016 Robert C. Gallo Award for Scientific Excellence 2018 ACVM Distinguished Microbiologist Award 

  • 2018 ACVM Distinguished Microbiologist Award 


  • Süzer Y, Löwer J, Sutter G, Osterhaus AD, Rimmelzwaan GF, Kreijtz J. Pending, WO 2008061939 A1: Recombinant modified vaccinia virus ankara (mva)-based vaccine for the avian flu. 

  • Fouchier R, Olsen B, Osterhaus AD. Pending, WO 2002024734 A2: Influenza a virus haemagglutinin subtype h16 proteins and their encoding nuclei c acid. 

  • De Jong JC, Bestebroer TM, Simon JHM, Fouchier R, Osterhaus AD. Pending, US 20080044426 A: Novel Atypical Pneumonia-Causing Virus. 

  • Haagmans B, Kuiken T, Fouchier R, Osterhaus AD. Pending, US 20070053878 A1: Sars. 

  • De Jong JC, Fouchier R, Den Hoogen BG, Osterhaus AD, Groen J. Pending, US 20150093746 A1: Virus Causing Respiratory Tract Illness in Susceptible Mammals. 

Recommended Links

For further information about Prof. Osterhaus scientific work please check the following links:

10 Selected Publications (of > 1250 original publications)

Haagmans BL, van den Brand JM, Raj VS, Volz A, Wohlsein P, Smits SL, Schipper D, Bestebroer TM, Okba N, Fux R, Bensaid A, Solanes Foz D, Kuiken T, Baumgärtner W, Segalés J, Sutter G, Osterhaus AD. An orthopoxvirus-based vaccine reduces virus excretion after MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels. Science. 2016; 351: 77-81. 

Mina MJ, Metcalf CJ, de Swart RL, Osterhaus AD, Grenfell BT. Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality. Science. 2015; 348: 694-9. 

Zaki AM, van Boheemen S, Bestebroer TM, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA: Isolation of a novel coronavirus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia. N Engl J Med. 2012; 19: 1814-20. 

Herfst S, Schrauwen EJ, Linster M, Chutinimitkul S, de Wit E, Munster VJ, Sorrell EM, Bestebroer TM, Burke DF, Smith DJ, Rimmelzwaan GF, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA. Airborne transmission of influenza A/ H5N1 virus between ferrets. Science. 2012; 336: 1534-41. 

Stittelaar KJ, Neyts J, Naesens L, van Amerongen G, van Lavieren RF, Holý A, De Clercq E, Niesters HG, Fries E, Maas C, Mulder PG, van der Zeijst BA, Osterhaus AD. Antiviral treatment is more effective than smallpox vaccination upon lethal monkeypox virus infection. Nature. 2006; 439: 745-8. 

Haagmans BL, Kuiken T, Martina BE, Fouchier RA, Rimmelzwaan GF, van Amerongen G, van Riel D, de Jong T, Itamura S, Chan KH, Tashiro M, Osterhaus AD. Pegylated interferon-alpha protects type 1 pneumocytes against SARS coronavirus infection in macaques. Nat Med. 2004; 10(3): 290-3. 

Kuiken T, Rimmelzwaan G, van Riel D, van Amerongen G, Baars M, Fouchier R, Osterhaus AD. Avian H5N1 influenza in cats. Science. 2004; 306: 241. 

Fouchier RA, Kuiken T, Schutten M, van Amerongen G, van Doornum GJ, van den Hoogen BG, Peiris M, Lim W, Stöhr K, Osterhaus AD. Aetiology: Koch’s postulates fulfilled for SARS virus. Nature. 2003; 423: 240. 

Martina BE, Haagmans BL, Kuiken T, Fouchier RA, Rimmelzwaan GF, Van Amerongen G, Peiris JS, Lim W, Osterhaus AD: SARS virus infection of cats and ferrets. Nature. 2003; 425: 915. 

van den Hoogen BG, de Jong JC, Groen J, Kuiken T, de Groot R, Fouchier RA, Osterhaus AD. A newly discovered human pneumovirus isolated from young children with respiratory tract disease. Nat Med. 2001; 7(6): 719-24.