Pöhlmann, Stefan, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Head of the Infection Biology Unit, German Primate Center

  • 2000: Ph.D., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 2000-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003-2007: Head of a SFB Junior Research Group, Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 2007-2010: Professor for Experimental Virology, Hannover Medical School
  • 2010: Professor for Infection Biology at Georg-August-University Göttingen (Brückenprofessur) and Head of the Infection Biology Unit of the German Primate Center

Major Research Interests

The Infection Biology Unit is studying virus-host cell interactions and their contribution to viral spread and pathogenesis in the host. One focus of our work is on activation of viruses by host cell proteases. Our recent studies provided evidence that the cellular protease TMPRSS2 is essential for influenza virus spread in mice and primate respiratory epithelium, indicating thatTMPRSS2 is an attractive target for antiviral intervention. Therefore, our future work seeks to define the antiviral activity of TMPRSS2 inhibitors in non-human primates.

The interferon system constitutes the first barrier against virus infection. A second focus of our studies is on the question how antiviral effector proteins of the interferon system inhibit viral spread and how viruses counter their antiviral activity. To answer this question, we employ siRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 approaches, life cell imaging, reporter viruses, genetic analyses and ex vivo cultures of primate organs.

Another goal of the Infection Biology Unit is the diagnosis of viral infections of non-human primates. Transmission of herpes B virus from macaques to humans and transmission of herpes B-related viruses between non-human primates can result in fatal disease. Therefore, our work is focused on establishing herpes virus diagnostics.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Hoffmann M, Crone L, Dietzel E, Paijo J, González-Hernández M, Nehlmeier I, Kalinke U, Becker S, Pöhlmann S (2017) A Polymorphism within the Internal Fusion Loop of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Modulates Host Cell Entry. J Virol 13;91(9).
  • Pöhlmann S, Suntz M, Akimkin V, Bleyer M, Kaul A (2017) Herpes B virus replication and viral lesions in the liver of a cynomolgus macaque which died from severe disease with rapid onset. J Med Primatol doi: 10.1111/jmp.12269.
  • Zmora P, Molau-Blazejewska P, Bertram S, Walendy-Gnirß K, Nehlmeier I, Hartleib A, Moldenhauer AS, Konzok S, Dehmel S, Sewald K, Brinkmann C, Curths C, Knauf S, Gruber J, Mätz-Rensing K, Dahlmann F, Braun A, Pöhlmann S (2017) Non-human primate orthologues of TMPRSS2 cleave and activate the influenza virus hemagglutinin. PLoS One 11;12(5).
  • Gierer S, Müller MA, Heurich A, Ritz D, Springstein BL, Karsten CB, Schendzielor A, Gnirß K, Drosten C, Pöhlmann S (2014) Inhibition of proprotein convertases abrogates processing of the middle eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein in infected cells but does not reduce viral infectivity. J Infect Dis 211(6): 889-97.
  • Hatesuer B, Bertram S, Mehnert N, Bahgat MM, Nelson PS, Pöhlmann S, Schughart K (2013) Tmprss2 is essential for influenza H1N1 virus pathogenesis in mice. PLoS Pathog 9(12):e1003774.
  • Kühl A, Münch J, Sauter D, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Specht A, Hofmann H, Schneider H, Behrens G, Pöhlmann S (2010) Calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand does not restrict retrovirus release. Nat Med 16: 155-6.