Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann participates in RESIST research projects A1 and B10.

My Research Interest in RESIST

Our research focus in RESIST is the identification of genetic determinants that influence the course and severity of primary RSV infections among infants. In collaboration with RESIST partner Gesine Hansen, we aim to identify genes and their variants that influence RSV infection severity and to understand by which mechanisms they do so. Ultimately, we aim to translate this information into development of diagnostic procedures that help to predict RSV infection risk so that we can protect vulnerable infants from severe infection. 

In addition, we focus on the analysis of antibody responses to HCV. We screen patients chronically infected with HCV for particularly broad and potent neutralizing antibodies. In collaboration with RESIST partner Thomas Krey we de-convolute antibody responses in these elite neutralizers and aim to identify viral epitopes targeted by these antibodies. Ultimately, we aim to use this information for structure-based design of vaccine candidates that protect from HCV infection. 

Prof. Pietschmann about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2012 Full Professor (W3) of Experimental Virology at the Medical School Hannover and Director of the Institute of Experimental Virology at TWINCORE 

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1991 – 1996 University of Würzburg, Germany and Duke University, Durham, NC, USA 

  • 1994 – 1995 DAAD-Scholarship performed at the Duke University Medical School, Durham, NC, USA

  • 1996 Diploma in Biology, University of Würzburg, Major Biochemistry, Minor Immunology/Virology, and animal physiology

  • 1997 – 2000 Doctor of natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat.), University of Würzburg, Institute of Virology 

Academic and Research Posts

  • 2000 – 2002 Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Virology, University of Mainz

  • 2002 – 2006 Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Molecular Virology, University of Heidelberg

  • 2006 – 2007 Emmy Noether-Research group leader at the Department of Molecular Virology, University of Heidelberg

  • 2007 – 2012 Associate Professor (W2) of Experimental Virology at the Medical School Hannover and Head of the Department for Experimental Virology TWINCORE – Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Hannover 

  • Since 2012 Full Professor (W3) of Experimental Virology at the Medical School Hannover and Director of the Institute of Experimental Virology at TWINCORE 

Other Scientific Roles

  • Referee of numerous journals (Nature, PLoS Pathogens, Hepatology) and funding agencies (DFG, CNRS) 

  • Since 2013 Topic speaker for the Helmholtz Centre of Infection Research, Braunschweig 

  • Since 2013 Member of the Advisory board of the Society of Virology

  • Since 2015 Editoral board member of Journal of Virology

  • Since 2015 Speaker of the Graduate School of the Helmholtz Centre of Infection Research 

  • Since 2015 Member of the Helmholtz think tank

  • Since 2017 Speaker of the Achieve academy of the Society of Virology

  • Since 2019 Editorial board member of the Journal of Hepatology

  • Since 2019 Member, Internal Advisory Board, German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) 

  • Since 2019 Speaker of the DZIF partner site Hannover/Braunschweig

Awards and Prizes

  • 1994 DAAD Scholarship for studies at the Duke University, Durham, NC, USA 

  • 2005 Pettenkofer Award of the Pettenkofer Foundation, Munich 

  • 2005  Robert Koch Postdoc Prize in Virology, Robert Koch Foundation

  • 2006  Emmy Noether-Scholarship, German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • 2012 ERC starting grant “VIRAFRONT” (European Research Council) 

Recommended Links

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

10 Selected Publications (of > 146 original publications)

Banda DH, Perin PM, Brown RJP, Todt D, Solodenko W, Hoffmeyer P, Kumar Sahu K, Houghton M, Meuleman P, Müller R, Kirschning A, Pietschmann T. A central hydrophobic E1 region controls the pH range of hepatitis C virus membrane fusion  and susceptibility to fusion inhibitors. J Hepatol. 2019 Jun;70(6):1082-1092.

Khera T, Behrendt P, Bankwitz D, Brown RJP, Todt D, Doepke M, Khan AG, Schulze K, Law J, Logan M, Hockman D, Wong JAJ, Dold L, Gonzalez-Motos V, Spengler U, Viejo-Borbolla A, Ströh LJ, Krey T, Tarr AW, Steinmann E, Manns MP, Klein F, Guzman CA, Marcotrigiano J, Houghton M, Pietschmann T. Functional and immunogenic characterization of diverse HCV glycoprotein E2 variants. J Hepatol. 2019 Apr;70(4):593-602.

Baier C, Haid S, Beilken A, Behnert A, Wetzke M, Brown RJP, Schmitt C, Ebadi E, Hansen G, Schulz TF, Pietschmann T, Bange FC. Molecular characteristics and successful management of a respiratory syncytial virus outbreak among pediatric patients with hemato-oncological disease. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2018  Feb 13;7:21. 

Vieyres G, Welsch K, Gerold G, Gentzsch J, Kahl S, Vondran FW, Kaderali L, Pietschmann T. ABHD5/CGI-58, the Chanarin-Dorfman Syndrome Protein, Mobilises Lipid Stores for Hepatitis C Virus Production. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Apr 28;12(4):e1005568. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005568.

Haid S, Grethe C, Bankwitz D, Grunwald T, Pietschmann T. Identification of a Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Cell Entry Inhibitor by Using a Novel Lentiviral Pseudotype System. J Virol. 2015 Dec 30;90(6):3065-73.

Gentzsch J, Brohm C, Steinmann E, Friesland M, Menzel N, Vieyres G, Perin PM, Frentzen A, Kaderali L, Pietschmann T. Hepatitis C virus p7 is critical for capsid assembly and envelopment. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(5):e1003355

Frentzen A, Anggakusuma, Gürlevik E, Hueging K, Knocke S, Ginkel C, Brown RJ,  Heim M, Dill MT, Kröger A, Kalinke U, Kaderali L, Kuehnel F, Pietschmann T. Cell entry, efficient RNA replication, and production of infectious hepatitis C virus progeny in mouse liver-derived cells. Hepatology. 2014 Jan;59(1):78-88. 

Bitzegeio J, Bankwitz D, Hueging K, Haid S, Brohm C, Zeisel MB, Herrmann E, Iken M, Ott M, Baumert TF, Pietschmann T. Adaptation of hepatitis C virus to mouse CD81 permits infection of mouse cells in the absence of human entry factors. PLoS.Pathog. 2010 Jul 1;6:e1000978. 

Pietschmann T, Kaul A, Koutsoudakis G, Shavinskaya A, Kallis S, Steinmann E, Abid K, Negro F, Dreux M, Cosset FL, Bartenschlager R. Construction and characterization of infectious intragenotypic and intergenotypic hepatitis C virus chimeras. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A 2006;103:7408-7413.

Wakita T*, Pietschmann T*, Kato T, Date T, Miyamoto M, Zhao Z, Murthy K, Habermann A, Krausslich HG, Mizokami M, Bartenschlager R*, Liang TJ. Production of infectious hepatitis C virus in tissue culture from a cloned viral genome. Nat.Med. 2005;11:791-796.


  Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann
  Institute of Experimental Virology, TWINCORE
  TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research
Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7
30625 Hannover
  +49 511 220027 – 130