Ulrike Protzer

Prof. Ulrike Protzer, M.D

Institute of Virology
Technical University of Munich
Trogerstr. 30
81675 München
Germany


Phone: +49 89 4140 6821
Fax: +49 89 4140 6823
Email

Research focus

Chronic viral hepatitis

Hepatitis virus – host interaction (Prof. Dr. Ulrike Protzer)

The human hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small, enveloped DNA viruses (family hepadnaviridae) whereas the hepatitis C virus is an enveloped plus-strand RNA virus (family flaviviridae) and the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a viroid co-existing with HBV. Although these viruses are rather diverse, all cause acute and chronic viral hepatitis. Chronic viral hepatitis is a major public health problem with about 240-300 million chronic HBV, about 150-170 million chronic HCV and about 30 million chronic HDV carriers worldwide who are at high risk of developing liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Since strategies to eradicate HBV and HDV and treatments for consequent liver disease are still very limited, our focus is on hepatitis B cure. As a prerequisite for developing these, we established infection systems that allow studying (and interfering with) all steps of virus replication.

The main focus of our group is to understand in molecular detail the interaction of HBV with its host and its host cell, the hepatocyte. Hereby, we investigate which cellular pathways are involved in the control of HBV replication, which viral proteins may counteract them and how HBV is activated or inactivated by immune mediators or metabolites. In addition, we use the advanced understanding of HBV molecular biology for developing HBV-based viral vectors for a liver directed gene transfer. Since hepatitis C virus infected individuals often develop type II diabetes, we investigate how the virus may interfere with insulin signaling. We also want to contribute to the molecular understanding of hepatocarcinogenesis, which develops on the basis of chronic hepatitis B or C virus infection. Based on the knowledge we acquire, we develop novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies, and test them in preclinical mouse models we have established.

Head of the group

Ulrike Protzer studied medicine and finished trainings as a specialist for Internal Medicine with a focus on hepatology and infectious diseases and as a specialist for in Medical Microbiology, Virology and Infection Epidemiology working with Karl-Hermann zum Büschenfelde, Guido Gerken, Georg Kräusslich and Martin Krönke. She did her scientific postdoctoral training with Heinz Schaller at the Center for Molecular Biology Heidelberg (ZMBH, Molecular Biology of Hepatitis B Viruses), where she also passed her “habilitation”. At the University of Cologne she was appointed as a junior group leader before she was became chair of virology at the Technische Universität München heading the Institute of Virology there and at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Short CV:

*2.11.1962, married, two children
1982-1988 Medical School, University of Erlangen
1989-1996 Internships in Frankfurt and Mainz, Hepatology / Infectious Diseases
1996 Specialist for Internal Medicine (board exam)
1996-2000 Postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg
2000-2002 Research group leader, Institute of Virology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
2002-2007 Assistant professor for “Molecular Infectiology”, University of Cologne, Germany
2005 Specialist for Medical Microbiology and Virology (board exam)
since 2007 Full professor (W3), Chair for Virology and Director of the Institutes of Virology, Technische Universität München and Helmholtz Zentrum München

Fellowships and Honors:

1982-1988 Scholarship for highly talented students
1996-1997  Postdoctoral fellowship
1997-2000 Stipend for the promotion of university teachers
2006  President elect of the International Meeting on Hepatitis B Viruses
2015   President elect of the German Association for the Study of the Liver

Community Service:

since 2006  Member of the organizing committee of the Int. Meeting on Hepatitis B Viruses
since 2007  Co-coordinator of the German Guidelines for Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Hepatitis B and C Virus Infection
2010-2013  Member of the advisory board “Health research” of the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
since 2010  2nd Vice dean, School of Medicine, Technische Universität München, for the promotion of young scientists
since 2011  Member of the advisory board of the Heinrich-Pette Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg
2011-2015  Vice chair of the Executive Board of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)
2012-2015  German representative within the Global Virus Network
since 2013  Member of the advisory board of the University Hospital Cologne