Prof. Dr. Lars Dölken

My Research Interest in RESIST

Our research at RESIST focuses on the cell biology of herpesvirus-host interactions and viral immune defense. We employ a broad range of systems biology approaches to identify and characterize the manipulation of the host transcriptional and translational machinery by HSV-1 and HCMV during productive infection, latency and reactivation. We have pioneered metabolic RNA labeling to study viral manipulation of their host cells with high temporal resolution at the single cell level and to uncover novel cellular genes and mechanisms that determine infection outcome. A long-term goal is to target conserved viral mechanisms that are important in early phases of lytic infection and virus reactivation in order to develop new antiviral agents with increased therapeutic potential.

Lars Dölken

Prof. Dr. Lars Dölken – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 4/2024 Director of the Institute of Virology at Hannover Medical School (MHH)

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1997 – 2004 Study of human medicine at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

  • 2005 MD (summa cum laude), Clinic and Polyclinic for Internal Medicine C, Haematology and Oncology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald

  • 2005 – 2011 Postdoctoral researcher and assistant in the working group of Prof. Ulrich Koszinowski at the Max-von-Pettenkofer Institute, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

  • 2011 Specialist in microbiology, virology and infection epidemiology

  • 2011 Habilitation in Microbiology, Virology and Infection Epidemiology „Pathogenicity of microRNAs in herpes virus infections“ Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich

Academic and Research Posts

  • 2008 – 2013 Research group leader in the NGFNplus consortium: „Pathogenic Role of MicroRNAs in Herpesvirus Infection“

  • 2011 – 2015 Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Scientist Fellow, Department of Medicine, Universität Cambridge, UK & Honorary Consultant in Transfusion and Transplantation Virology for NHS Blood and Transplant, Cambridge, UK

  • 3/2015 – 3/2024 Chair of Virology and Head of the BgA Virus Diagnostics at the Institute of Virology and Immunobiology at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg

Other Scientific Roles

  • 2011 – 2015 Member of the NHBST Microbiology Strategy Group, UK

  • 2012 – 2015 Member of the „Tutorial Committee“ of St Edmunds College

  • 2018 Organiser of the annual conference of the German Society for Virology (GfV) in Würzburg (March 2018)

  • 2019 – 2023 Member of the advisory board of the German Society for Virology (GfV)

  • Since 2019 Speaker of the DFG Research Unit FOR 2830 – „New concepts in the cellular immune control of cytomegaloviruses“  / second funding phase since 5/2022

  • Since 2021 Co-speaker of the Bavarian SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance Network (Bay-VoC) led by Prof. Oliver Keppler (LMU)

  • Since 2020 Member of the „Interagency Meeting“ (Corona Task Force) of the city and district of Würzburg

  • Since 6/2021 Member of the JMU Würzburg Corona Task Force

Awards and Prizes

  • 2002  Young Researcher Travel Award, European Hematology Association (EHA)

  • Doctoral Prize of the Society of Internal Medicine Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the best annual medical doctoral thesis in the field of internal medicine

  • 2009 – 2011 Travel Awards for the International Herpesvirus Workshops in Gdansk, Poland (2011), Salt Lake City, USA (2010), Ithaca, New York, USA (2009)

  • 2011 Postdoctoral Award for Virology from the Robert Koch Foundation

  • 2016 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award
    ‘HERPES’ – Herpesvirus Effectors of RNA synthesis, Processing, Export and Stability

  • 2018 European Research Council (ERC) Proof-of-Concept Award

  • 2022 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award
    ‘DecipherHSV’ – Deciphering cellular and viral determinants of lytic HSV-1 infection, latency and reactivation

Recommended Links

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

10 Selected Publications

SND1 binds SARS-CoV-2 negative-sense RNA and promotes viral RNA synthesis through NSP9. Schmidt N, Ganskih S, Wei Y, Gabel A, Zielinski S, Keshishian H, Lareau CA, Zimmermann L, Makroczyova J, Pearce C, Krey K, Hennig T, Stegmaier S, Moyon L, Horlacher M, Werner S, Aydin J, Olguin-Nava M, Potabattula R, Kibe A, Dölken L, Smyth RP, Caliskan N, Marsico A, Krempl C, Bodem J, Pichlmair A, Carr SA, Chlanda P, Erhard F, Munschauer M. Cell. 2023 Oct 26;186(22):4834-4850.e23. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.09.002. Epub 2023 Oct 3. PMID: 37794589

The HSV-1 ICP22 protein selectively impairs histone repositioning upon Pol II transcription downstream of genes. Djakovic L, Hennig T, Reinisch K, Milić A, Whisnant AW, Wolf K, Weiß E, Haas T, Grothey A, Jürges CS, Kluge M, Wolf E, Erhard F, Friedel CC, Dölken L. Nat Commun. 2023 Jul 31;14(1):4591. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40217-w. PMID: 37524699

Decoding murine cytomegalovirus. Lodha M, Muchsin I, Jürges C, Juranic Lisnic V, L’Hernault A, Rutkowski AJ, Prusty BK, Grothey A, Milic A, Hennig T, Jonjic S, Friedel CC, Erhard F, Dölken L. PLoS Pathog. 2023 May 12;19(5):e1010992. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010992. eCollection 2023 May. PMID: 37172056

Selective inhibition of miRNA processing by a herpesvirus-encoded miRNA. Hennig T, Prusty AB, Kaufer BB, Whisnant AW, Lodha M, Enders A, Thomas J, Kasimir F, Grothey A, Klein T, Herb S, Jürges C, Sauer M, Fischer U, Rudel T, Meister G, Erhard F, Dölken L, Prusty BK. Nature. 2022 May;605(7910):539-544. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04667-4. Epub 2022 May 4. PMID: 35508655

Remdesivir for Early COVID-19 Treatment of High-Risk Individuals Prior to or at Early Disease Onset-Lessons Learned. Dölken L, Stich A, Spinner CD. Viruses. 2021 May 22;13(6):963. doi: 10.3390/v13060963. PMID: 34067381

Integrative functional genomics decodes herpes simplex virus 1. Whisnant AW, Jürges CS, Hennig T, Wyler E, Prusty B, Rutkowski AJ, L’hernault A, Djakovic L, Göbel M, Döring K, Menegatti J, Antrobus R, Matheson NJ, Künzig FWH, Mastrobuoni G, Bielow C, Kempa S, Liang C, Dandekar T, Zimmer R, Landthaler M, Grässer F, Lehner PJ, Friedel CC, Erhard F, Dölken L. Nat Commun. 2020 Apr 27;11(1):2038. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15992-5. PMID: 32341360

Herpes simplex virus blocks host transcription termination via the bimodal activities of ICP27. Wang X, Hennig T, Whisnant AW, Erhard F, Prusty BK, Friedel CC, Forouzmand E, Hu W, Erber L, Chen Y, Sandri-Goldin RM, Dölken L, Shi Y. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 15;11(1):293. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14109-x.  PMID: 31941886

scSLAM-seq reveals core features of transcription dynamics in single cells. Erhard F, Baptista MAP, Krammer T, Hennig T, Lange M, Arampatzi P, Jürges CS, Theis FJ, Saliba AE, Dölken L. Nature. 2019 Jul;571(7765):419-423. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1369-y. Epub 2019 Jul 10. PMID: 31292545

Improved Ribo-seq enables identification of cryptic translation events. Erhard F, Halenius A, Zimmermann C, L’Hernault A, Kowalewski DJ, Weekes MP, Stevanovic S, Zimmer R, Dölken L. Nat Methods. 2018 May;15(5):363-366. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4631. Epub 2018 Mar 12. PMID: 29529017

Widespread disruption of host transcription termination in HSV-1 infection. Rutkowski AJ, Erhard F, L’Hernault A, Bonfert T, Schilhabel M, Crump C, Rosenstiel P, Efstathiou S, Zimmer R, Friedel CC, Dölken L. Nat Commun. 2015 May 20;6:7126. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8126. PMID: 25989971


  Prof. Dr. Lars Dölken
   Institut für Virologie
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
  Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover
  +49 511 532 – 3763