Graduate School

The HZI International Graduate School for Infection Research (GS-FIRE) provides an innovative structured PhD programme within the field of Infection Research. Implemented at the campus of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig together with its partner universities GS-FIRE has created an electrifying environment where young researchers are stimulated to exchange knowledge with their colleagues, peers and leading scientists from around the world. Besides intensive scientific training the young researchers have the possibility of improving their soft skills and advancing their interdisciplinary knowledge in preparation for the job market.

HZI Graduate School courses, lectures and symposia


February 3

Medical Microbiology Lecture: Mycobacterial infections
Lecturer: Dr. Ralph Goethe, TiHo Hannover

February 10

Medical Microbiology Lecture: Zoonotic infections
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Peter Valentin-Weigand, TiHo Hannover

February 17

Medical Microbiology Lecture: The influence of the microbiota on gastrointestinal infections
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Till Strowig, HZI Braunschweig

February 17 - 21

Lab course: TGE and BEVS Protein Expression in Insect cells
Aim & Content: This course will cover the theory and practical training in the baculoviral expression vector system (BEVS) and virus free transient gene expression (TGE) in insect cells. Additionally, the TGE method will be performed in mammalian HEK293 cells. Basic sterile cell cultivation, transient transfection, amplification of the virus, viral infection and protein expression screens will be part of the training. 
Course Leader: Dr. Joop van den HeuveL, HZI Braunschweig

February 24

Medical Microbiology Lecture: Phage therapy
Lecturer: Dr. Christine Rohde, DSMZ Braunschweig

February 28    

Assessment Medical Microbiology Lecture
HZI Graduate School

March 2

Immunology Lecture: The innate immune system: evasion and subversion by bacterial pathogens
Lecturer: Dr. Oliver Goldmann, HZI Braunschweig

March 9

Immunology Lecture: Innate immune defense mediated by pattern recognition receptors and viral counteracting strategies
Lecturer: Dr. Markus Stempel, HZI Braunschweig

March 16

Immunology Lecture: Antigen uptake and processing, dendritic cells; how pathogens (e.g. CMV) try to evade the immune response?
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dr. Luka Cicin-Sain, HZI Braunschweig

March 23

Immunology Lecture: T cell development, activation and effector functions
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Jochen Hühn, HZI Braunschweig

March 30

Immunology Lecture: T cell differentation: a delicate balance between inflammatory and regulatory T cells
Lecturer: Dr. Stefan Flöß, HZI Braunschweig

April 20

Immunology Lecture: Fighting influenza virus within the lung
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann, BRICS Braunschweig

April 27

Immunology Lecture: Immune defence at body surfaces - the gut
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Till Strowig, HZI Braunschweig

April 27

Immunology Lecture: B cell development and somatic evolution
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dunja Bruder, HZI Braunschweig

April 30    

Assessment Immunology Lecture
HZI Graduate School

May 4

Virology Lecture: Foundations: Viruses and the infectious cycle
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann, Twincore

May 11

Virology Lecture: Attachment and entry of viruses
Lecturer: Dr. Graham Brogden, Twincore

May 18

Virology Lecture: Transcription and replication: DNA viruses and retroviruses
Lecturer: Dr. Björn Krenz, DSMZ 

May 25

Virology Lecture: Intracellular trafficking, assembly, egress and maturation of viruses
Lecturer: Dr. Arnaud Carpentier, Twincore

June 8

Virology Lecture: Virus evolution and emerge
Lecturer: PD Dr. Jens Bohne

June 15

Virology Lecture: Replication of RNA viruses
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann, Twincore

June 16 - 17

Course: Good Scientific Practice
Aim & Content: Good scientific practice, data management, publication practice and authorship, responsible mentoring, cooperation in science and conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, managing conflicts.
Course Leader: Dr. Michael Gommel; Institute for Systemic Medicine and Organizational Ethics, Berlin

June 22

Virology Lecture: Viral pathogenesis
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Melanie Brinkmann

June 29

Virology Lecture: Adaptive Immunity  to viruses and vaccines
Lecturer: Adaptive Immunity  to viruses and vaccines

June 30 - July 1

Live Online Course: Career and Leadership
Aim & Content: To summarise, the aim of this course is to provide postgraduate researchers with an opportunity to build their understanding, skills and confidence in the key areas of career planning, career development and the development of their leadership style.
By the end of the course participants should:

  • understand career planning and how to take ownership of the process
  • have an understanding of the skills and competencies organisations require
  • feel equipped to participate in the selection processes
  • have a clear understanding of the key elements of leadership
  • feel empowered to be authentic in their leadership style
  • have experienced a range of leadership styles through working with colleagues

Course Leader: Emma Ford and Mike Rawland, Coatching4Careers, UK

July 3

Assessment Group Exercise of Career and Leadership Course

July 10

Assessment Virology Lecture
HZI Graduate School

July 21 – 23 

Live Online Course: Completing your PhD successfully on time
Aim & Content: This three-day course provides in-depth guidelines on how to cope with the most common challenges involved in researching and writing a PhD. If the doctoral researchers are feeling overwhelmed by their PhD project, over-worked, or having trouble with time-management this course is ideal. We give doctoral researchers the tools and techniques they need to complete their PhD on schedule and maintain a healthy work-life balance. They learn how to work more efficiently, how to save time, and how to identify and focus on what matters most.
We teach them to set up a project plan and to monitor your progress, as well as how to optimise supervision and get the support they need. They learn how to plan the thesis-writing process and how to incorporate writing tasks into their normal working day. This training course will help increase the satisfaction as a PhD student and to become a fully professional academic.
Course Leader: Dr. Bärbel, Tress Academic GbR, Munich

August 2 - 3

Course: Scientific Writing
Aim & Content: Learn how to write clearly and with impact:
   - Construct a "take-home" message that tells the story of your research.
   - Choose words that communicate your science clearly.
   - Structure your paper into a flowing narrative.
Course Leader: Dr. Brian Cusack; Science Craft, Berlin

October 28 - 29

Course: Good Scientific Practice
Aim & Content: Good scientific practice, data management, publication practice and authorship, responsible mentoring, cooperation in science and conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, managing conflicts.
Course Leader: Dr. Julia Verse; Institute for Systemic Medicine and Organizational Ethics, Berlin


Dr. Sabine Kirchhoff

GS-FIRE (International Graduate School for Infection Research)

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Inhoffenstraße 7
38124 Braunschweig


  • HZI International Graduate School
PrintSend per emailShare