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Dr Hans Burgert

Job Title
Honorary Associate Professor
Life Sciences
Research Interests

Human adenoviruses (Ads) have evolved strategies to counteract the host immune system. As a result, these DNA viruses not only cause acute infections of the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract and the eye, but also establish persistent infections. The diseases associated with infection range in severity from mild to life-threatening in immunocompromised (AIDS, transplantation) patients.

The primary goal of our research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which adenoviruses evade the host immune defence and how these mechanisms contribute to disease. We are particularly interested in the association of certain Ad types of species D (AD8, Ad19a, Ad37, Ad53, Ad54, Ad56)with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), a severe eye disease that can persist for a long time. Moreover, these studies give further insight into basic processes of the cell and the immune system, such as antigen presentation, apoptosis and lymphocyte manipulation. The knowledge gained can be appliedfor improving adenovirus vectors for gene therapy, cancer therapy and vaccination or for generating novel immunomodulatory drugs.


Study of Biochemistry with S. Kvist, University of Tübingen.Master degree 1974-1980
Master theses with L. Thilo (Dept. of P Overath), Max-Planck Institute for Biology, Tübingen1980-1981
Studies in Medicine, University of Tübingen 1980-1982
PhD with Prof. B Dobberstein / supervisor: Dr Kvist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg 1982-1985
Habilitation for Cell Biology and Immunobiology 1995

Title Funder Award start Award end
A novel immunomodulatory function for E3/49k, the first secreted adenovirus protein BBSRC 01 Aug 2005 31 Jul 2008
The 8th international adenovirus meeting. Royal Society 30 Aug 2006 02 Sep 2006
Role of polar amino acid in the transmembrane segment of an adenovirus protein for functional activity Society for General Microbiology 01 Jul 2006 31 Aug 2006