Previous Fora / 2011

KLENK, Hans-Dieter

Institute for Virology, University of Marburg

Hans-Dieter Klenk was born in 1938 in Cologne, Germany. He received his M.D. from the University of Cologne in 1964 and a degree in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen in 1967. From 1967 to 1970 he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. P.W. Choppin at the Rockefeller University in New York. From 1970 to 1985 he held several positions at the Institute of Virology of the University of Giessen. From 1985 to 2007 he was Professor of Virology and Head of the Department of Virology of the University of Marburg where he is now Professor emeritus. His research has focused on the structure and function of enveloped viruses (influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, filoviruses) with special emphasis on the role of viral glycoproteins and RNA polymerase in the infection process, in pathogenesis and in interspezies transmission. He is author of more than 400 scientific publications. Prof. Klenk was President of the Gesellschaft für Virologie and Chairman of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. He serves presently on the International Scientific Board of the Institute of Medical Microbiology of Fudan University, Shanghai, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pasteur Institute of the Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, on the International Scientific Board of the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health of the Chinese Academy of Science, and of the Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center, Atlanta. He is a member of EMBO and of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, Leopoldina. His awards include: Preis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie (1985), Feldberg Lecture, London (1987), Aronson-Preis, Berlin (1989), Shipley Lecture, Harvard Medical School (2003), Robert-Koch-Medal in Gold, Berlin (2006), Ernst-Jung-Medal in Gold, Hamburg (2008), Emil von Behring-Preis, Marburg (2010).



17:00-19:00 17 NOVEMBER
THEMATIC SESSION I. Leopoldina: „Emerging and re-emerging infections”

Influenza viruses en route from animals to man
Wild aquatic birds are the natural hosts for a large variety of influenza A viruses. Occasionally viruses are transmitted from this reservoir to other species, such as chickens, pigs and man, and may then eventually cause devastating outbreaks in domestic poultry or give rise to human influenza pandemics. The most severe pandemic was the Spanish influenza of 1918 with more than 50 million deaths world-wide. The most recent pandemic, the so-called swine influenza, originated in 2009 in Mexico and spread within a few months around the globe. Although the death toll was relatively low, many severe cases were observed that survived only because of modern intensive care treatment. Host range and pathogenicity of influenza viruses are polygenic trails depending on the interacting of viral proteins with host factors. Understanding these mechanisms will help us to develop new vaccines and antiviral therapeutics. Furthermore, world-wide surveillance programs are necessary, to detect new influenza viruses immediately when they emerge in animals and man. This requires the cooperation of human and veterinary virology in basic research, public health, and pharmaceutical industry.