Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative – Infectious Disease Research

The main objective of the collaborative HAI program in the field of Infectious Disease Research is to tackle unmet needs in the development of preventative vaccines and treatments of liver disease caused by hepatitis B and C viruses.

Currently there are more than half a billion people chronically infected with HBV and HCV. The majority of individuals infected become chronic carriers of these infections. By joining complementary world-class expertise and resources in the fight against hepatitis, the University of Alberta and Helmholtz Association will contribute to confining the spread of hepatitis and prevent future infections, help the current hepatitis patients, and reduce the disease’s immense healthcare economic burdens.

In addition to its research program, the HAI-IDR also contains an integrated education and training program for the next generation of scientists, and promotes technology transfer to benefit Alberta, Germany, and the world. In the long run, HAI-IDR envisions expanding into other viral diseases and helping meet emerging and future infectious diseases head on. The research projects currently focus on:


  • therapeutics
  • vaccines


Carlos A. Guzmán
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Braunschweig, Germany

Ulrich Kalinke, Thomas Pietschmann 
Twincore, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research (Twincore), Hannover, Germany; a joint venture between the Hannover Medical School and the HZI

Rolf Müller
Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany; a joint venture between the Saarland University and the HZI

Ulrike Protzer
Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU)

David Evans, Michael Houghton, D. Lorne Tyrrell, Michele Barry, Tom Hobman, Luis Schang
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta (U of A), Edmonton, Canada

David Evans, D. Lorne Tyrrell, Luis Schang, Tom Hobman
Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology (LKSIOV), Edmonton, Canada

Luis Schang
Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta (U of A), Edmonton, Canada

Mary Hitt 
Department of Oncology, University of Alberta (U of A), Edmonton, Canada 

Tom Hobman
Department of Cell Biology, University of Alberta (U of A), Edmonton, Canada 

D. Lorne Tyrrell  
KMT Hepatech; a spin-off company from the U of A



D. Lorne Tyrrell, MD PhD Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada; Carlos A. Guzmán, MD PhD, Research group Vaccinology, HZI

Funding Agency