Prof. Dr. Thomas Schulz is speaker of RESIST and participates in research projects D1 and D3.

My Research Interest in RESIST

Our research focus in RESIST is the identification and validation of novel antiviral targets during the early stages of herpesviral replication and the development of small molecular compounds that interfere with these targets. The longterm aim is to thereby contribute to new treatment options for herpesviral disease and, in particular, to open the door for combination therapies that utilize drugs acting at different stages of the viral life cycle.

In pursuing this research programme, we build on our longterm experience with Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. For this gammaherpesvirus, we have worked, for more than 20 years, on the functional and molecular characterization of its major latency protein LANA and a non-structural viral membrane protein, pK15, which is required for viral reactivation from latency. We have also recently, in collaboration with another RESIST scientist, Martin Empting, developed a first generation of small molecule inhibitors acting on LANA. Over the course of the next 6 years we want to continue with the development of these inhibitors and apply the experience gained in recent years to other herpesviruses.

Thomas Schulz about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schulz – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2000 Full (C4) Professor of Virology and Director, Institute of Virology,
    MHH

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1972 – 1979 Medical School in Mainz, Montpellier and London

  • 1980 Medical Doctorate (Dr. med.; Supervisor Prof. Dr. med. M.P. Dierich)

  • 1986 Habilitation (Supervisor Prof. Dr. med. M.P. Dierich)

  • 1990 Certificate of Completed Specialist Training in Medical Microbiology, Virology, Infection Epidemiology

  • 1998 Member of the Royal College of Pathologists (MRCPath)

  • 2003 Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath)

Academic and Research Posts

  • 1979 – 1986 Assistant Physician and Postgraduate Assistant, Mainz University Hospital, Germany, and Institute of Hygiene, Innsbruck University, Austria

  • 1986 – 1988 University Lecturer, Institute of Hygiene, Innsbruck University, Austria

  • 1988 – 1995 EMBO Fellow and Clinical Research Scientist, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK

  • 1995 – 2000 Professor, Dept. Medical Microbiology, The University of Liverpool, UK

  • 2000 – Professor of Virology and Director, Institute of Virology, MHH

Other Scientific Roles

  • 2005 – 2007 Member of the DFG Senate Committee for Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche)

  • 2006 – 2010 Coordinator, EU Integrated Program INCA (LSHC-CT-2005- 018704)

  • 2010 – 2022 Speaker, DFG Collaborative Research Centre 900 “Chronic Infections: Microbial Persistence and its control”

  • 2010 – 2015 Chair, Scientific Advisory Board of the German Primate Centre, Göttingen

  • 2010 – 2016 Chair, Scientific Advisory Board of the Heinrich-Pette-Institute of Virology, Hamburg

  • 2019 – Speaker, Cluster of Excellence 2155 “RESIST” – Resolving Infection Susceptibility

  • 2019 – Scientific Coordinator, Research Area “Infections of the Immunocompromised Host”, German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)

  • 2019 – Associate Editor for DNA Viruses, PLoS Pathogens

Awards and Prizes

  • 1972-1979 German National Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes)

  • 1986 Longterm EMBO Fellowship

  • 1997 Parkes-Weber Medal of the Royal College of Physicians

  • 2014 Medal of the German Primate Centre

Recommended Links

For further information about Prof. Schulz’s scientific work please check the following links:

10 Selected Publications (of > 225 original publications)

Beauclair G, Naimo E, Dubich T, Rückert J, Koch S, Dhingra A, Wirth D, Schulz TF. Targeting the Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus ORF 21 tyrosine kinase and viral lytic reactivation by tyrosine kinase inhibitors approved for clinical use. J Virol. 2019 Dec 11. pii: JVI.01791-19.

Koch S, Damas M, Freise A, Hage E, Dhingra A, Rückert J, Gallo A, Kremmer E, Tegge W, Brönstrup M, Brune W, Schulz TF. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus vIRF2 protein utilizes an IFN-dependent pathway to regulate viral early gene expression. PLoS Pathog. 2019 May 6;15(5):e1007743

Abere B, Mamo TM, Hartmann S, Samarina N, Hage E, Rückert J, Hotop SK, Büsche G, Schulz TF. The Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) non-structural membrane protein K15 is required for viral lytic replication and may represent a therapeutic target. PLoS Pathog. 2017; 3(9): e1006639.

Zhang G, Chan B, Samarina N, Abere B, Weidner-Glunde M, Buch A, Pich A, Brinkmann MB, Schulz TF. Cytoplasmic isoforms of Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus LANA recruit and antagonize the innate immune sensor cGAS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113: E1034-43.

Gramolelli S, Weidner-Glunde M, Abere B, Viejo-Borbolla A, Bala K, Rückert J, Kremmer E, Schulz TF. Inhibiting the recruitment of PLC1 to Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpesvirus K15 protein reduces the invasiveness and angiogenesis of infected endothelial cells. PLoS Pathog. 2015; 11(8): e1005105.

Hellert J, Weidner-Glunde M, Krausze J, Richter U, Adler H, Fedorov R, Pietrek M, Rückert J, Ritter C, Schulz TF*, Lührs T*. A structural basis for BRD2/4-mediated host chromatin interaction and oligomer assembly of Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus and murine gammaherpesvirus LANA proteins. PLoS Pathog. 2013; 9(10):e1003640. *joint senior authors

Santag S, Jäger W, Karsten C, Kati S, Pietrek M, Steinemann D, Sarek G, Ojala P, Schulz TF. Recruitment of the tumour suppressor protein p73 by Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus latent nuclear antigen contributes to the survival of primary effusion lymphoma cells. Oncogene. 2013; 32(32):3676-85.

Bala K, Bosco R, Gramolelli S, Haas DA, Kati S, Pietrek M, Hävemeier A, Yakushko Y, Singh VV, DittrichBreiholz O, Kracht M, Schulz TF. Kaposi´s Sarcoma  Herpesvirus K15 protein contributes to virus-induced angiogenesis by recruiting PLC1 and activating NFAT1-dependent RCAN1 expression. PLoS Pathog. 2012; 8:e1002927.

Rainbow L, Platt GM, Simpson GR, Sarid R, Gao SJ, Stoiber H, Herringston CS, Moore PS, Schulz TF. The 222-234 kd nuclear protein (LNA) of Kaposi’s sarcoma – associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV 8) is encoded by orf73 and a component of the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). J Virol. 1997; 71: 5915-21.

Simpson GR, Schulz TF*, WhitbyD, Cook PM, Boshoff C, Rainbow L, Howard M, Gao SJ, Bohenzky RA, Simmonds P, Lee C, de Ruiter A, Hatzakis A, Tedder RS, Weller IVD, Weiss RA, Moore PS. Prevalence of Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus infection measured by antibodies to recombinant capsid protein and latent immunofluorescence antigen. Lancet. 1996; 348: 1133–38 *corresponding author