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Prof. Dr.

Ralf Bartenschlager

Year of election: 2013
Section: Microbiology and Immunology
City: Heidelberg
Country: Germany
Ralf Bartenschlager erhält Beijerinck-Preis für Virologie
CV Ralf Bartenschlager - Deutsch (PDF)
CV Ralf Bartenschlager - Englisch (PDF)


Major Scientific Interests: Molecular virology, immune response, flavivirus replication cycle, pathogenesis of hepatotropic viruses

Ralf Bartenschlager is a virologist working in the field of molecular virology of Flaviviridae. His research focuses on the viruses belonging to the family Flaviviridae. Primary topics are the Dengue virus, the most prevalent virus worldwide that is transmitted by mosquitos, and the hepatitis C virus, which is a main causative agent of acute and chronic liver diseases.

Ralf Bartenschlager is best known for his major contributions to the exploration of the replication cycle of these two viruses. One of the most important contributions was the establishment of the first robust cell culture system for the hepatitis C virus. This achievement laid the ground for the identification of the direct acting antivirals that have become available for treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

In addition, Ralf Bartenschlager has expanded his research activities towards host – pathogen interactions. A special focus is the analysis of the complex interplay between hepatitis C virus and Dengue virus with the innate and adaptive immune response. These analyses are based primarily on innovative imaging-based methods and systems biology, including mathematical modeling, with the aim to decipher the complex interactions between the host and its pathogens.


  • since 2014 Head of the division “Virus-associated Carcinogenesis” at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg, Germany
  • since 2002 Full professor for Molecular Virology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University, Germany
  • 1999 Habilitation at Mainz University, Germany
  • 1990 PhD thesis at Heidelberg University, Center for Molecular Biology, Germany
  • 1981-1987 Studies of Biology at Heidelberg University, Germany


  • since 2013 Co-coordinator DZIF-TTU Hepatitis
  • since 2010 Member of the steering committee SFB/ TRR77 Liver cancer
  • 2009-2015 Major (elected) reviewer of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • since 2008 Member of the steering committee “CellNetworks”, Heidelberg
  • 2007-2011 Member of the steering committee of the BMBF FORSYS-Initiative “ViroQuant”
  • since 2005 Member of the scientific advisory board of the Society of Virology (GfV)


  • since 2016 Coordinator Collaborative Research Center 179 “Determinants and dynamics of elimination versus persistence of hepatitis virus infection”
  • since 2014 Coordinator Research Program “Infection, Inflammation and Cancer, German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg”
  • 2009-2015 Speaker DFG research unit FOR1202 “Mechanisms of persistence of hepatotropic viruses”
  • 2005-2008 Coordinator of the Forschungsschwerpunkt “Infection strategies of human pathogenic viruses” (Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg)

Honours and Memberships

  • 2021 M.W. Beijerinck Virology Prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2019 Prince Mahidol Award
  • 2017 Hector Prize
  • 2016 Lasker-DeBakey Award
  • 2015 Robert Koch Prize
  • 2013 Lautenschläger-Forschungspreis / Lautenschläger Research Prize
  • since 2013 Member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2008 Behring Lecture
  • 2006 Aschoff Medal from the Medical Society Freiburg
  • 2002-2012 Foundation professorship of the Chica und Heinz Schaller-Stiftung
  • 2002 William Prusoff Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research
  • 2001 Löffler-Frosch Award of the Society for Virology
  • 2000 Robert-Koch-Förderpreis of the Bergstadt Clausthal-Zellerfeld
  • 1991 Award for the best Ph.D. thesis from the society for molecular biological research Heidelberg




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org

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