Andreas Müller receives Jürgen-Wehland Award

Junior researcher prize of the HZI awarded in the scope of the "North Regio Day On Infection"


Andreas Müller received the Jürgen-Wehland award for his research on the interactions between host and pathogens.

Hallbauer / Fioretti

Prof Andreas Müller, a scientist working at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg and at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, is the recipient of this year's Jürgen-Wehland award. He received the award, worth Euro 5,000, on 21 October on the occasion of the fifth "North Regio Day on Infection" at the HZI. Müller received the award for his outstanding research on the interactions between host and pathogens.

When pathogens penetrate into our body, our immune system initiates steps to fight the intruder. Whether or not these defence mechanisms are successful depends mainly on the interplay of the cells of the immune systems with each other and with the pathogen. But it is not at all clear how these signals are exchanged in the living organism. Meanwhile, special microscopic techniques have become available that allow the interaction between host and pathogen in viable tissue to be observed.

Müller's research group focuses on finding out how a pathogen responds to the stress imparted on it by the immune response. The scientists hope to gain a better understanding of how the immune response is switched on and off and which conditions are best for an effective immune response. "This knowledge can help us find new starting points to optimally support the immune response through therapeutic interventions," Müller says.

The award is a great incentive for Müller to continue along the path he's taken. "Just like Jürgen Wehland, I am studying the interaction between host and pathogen," Müller says. "The award named after him is therefore very special motivation to me to continue this research at the intercept between immunology and microbiology."

The prize is awarded in honour of the former Scientific Director of the HZI, Jürgen Wehland, who passed away unexpectedly in 2010 after just one year in office. For this reason, the "North Regio Day on Infection" bears the byname of "Jürgen-Wehland Symposium" ever since.


Andreas Müller did his doctoral work at the ETH Zurich studying the inflammatory reaction during Salmonella infection in the research group of Wolf-Dietrich Hardt at the Institute of Microbiology. Following some research stays at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and at the University of Lausanne, he has been the head of the "Intravital Microscopy in Infection and Immunity" research group since December 2013. The group is attached to the Institute for Molecular and Clinical Immunology of the University of Magdeburg, but is funded jointly by the HZI and the University of Magdeburg.