Institute of Microbiology and Virology
The Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the Brandenburg Medical School (MHB) was recently founded, and as a research institution is located at the Senftenberg Campus of the Brandenburg Technical University (BTU). Director of the Institute is Prof. Frank T. Hufert who before joining MHB had the chair of virology at the University Medical Center Goettingen (www.virologie.uni-goettingen.de). As in Goettingen, the new Institute at MHB has a strong focus on emerging infectious disease (EID). We are working on basic science projects and in the applied science field. Our basic research projects address virus host interactions and genetic diversity of arboviruses. The viral immune modulation of the innate host response is a major focus of our basic research activities. In the field of applied science we have developed rapid molecular diagnostics tools for fast on-site viral detection under field conditions. We have developed more than 50 real-time PCR assays and >30 assays based on isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA); the latter allows real-time detection of viral and bacterial genomes within 10 minutes. A sample-to-result time of 20 minutes was achieved including sample preparation. The development of a suitcase lab for rapid mobile genetic detection of EID, which was tested in a field trial in Africa, makes it now possible to extend our investigations of rapid pathogen detection in human and veterinary medicine. Prof. Hufert’s group has a good long-standing cooperation with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar and the LNERV-ISRA in Senegal. In fact, two bursary students, one from each centre, finished their work recently. In addition, he has participated as a lecturer in courses organized by him and others on molecular biology in Africa.
Direction and contact
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Frank T. Hufert