German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF)

The HPI is a founding member of the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) and a member of the Hamburg /Lübeck/Borstel partner site: Global and Emerging Infections together with the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), the Research Center Borstel (FZB) and research groups from the University of Hamburg and the University of Lübeck. Other DZIF partner sites are Hannover/Braunschweig, Köln/Bonn, Gießen/Marburg/Langen, Heidelberg, Tübingen and München.

Overarching HPI research projects can be found within the HIV, Infections of the Immunocompromised Host and Emerging Infections Thematical Translation Units (TTU) of the DZIF.

Together with Professor Hans-Georg Kräusslich (Heidelberg University), Professor Joachim Hauber coordinates the HIV TTU project Turnover of HIV-1 integration sites: targets for virus eradication, which also involves scientists from the UKE and the partner sites Köln/Bonn, Heidelberg und München. The project aims to characterize HIV integration sites in infected patients under different antiretroviral treatments over extended periods. The corresponding proviruses will be removed with Tre-recombinase and gene therapy approaches. In summary, critical milestones in the clinical development of novel HIV-1 eradication strategies are to be reached in the course of this collaborative project.

In the Antiviral Therapies project within the Infections of the Immunocompromised Host TTU, Professor Wolfram Brune and Professor Thomas Dobner, together with scientists from the München and Hannover/Braunschweig partner sites, are developing new antiviral agents against herpes virus and adenovirus. This project aims to identify antiviral agents with the help of high-throughput sequencing. Furthermore, natural agents from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) as well as other compounds from large collections of active agents will be tested for their suitability as viral inhibitors.

The HPI’s Pathogen Genomics and Detection project is part of the Emerging Infections TTU. As part of this project, the Next Generation Sequencing technology platform will expand its experimental and bioinformatics expertise in collaboration with other partner site institutes to apply future innovative high-throughput sequencing methods to studies in infectiology. In addition, Professor Adam Grundhoff, head of the HPI’s Virus Genomics group and Next Generation Sequencing technology platform, has co- coordinated the site’s DZIF-Bioinformatics platform together with PD Dr. Stefan Niemann of the FZB since November 2012.