Innate immunity and viral evasion
If a virus attacks us, our immune system registers this attack and starts a whole chain of reactions. Messengers initiate the release of cellular proteins, through which our cells prevent the spread of viruses – known as antiviral factors. However, some viruses have developed very effective strategies against these antiviral factors, so that the self-protection mechanism of the cells is ultimately insufficient to defend against the infection. Wanted: new antiviral factors which can fight off even these viruses – of which HIV is one.
Prof Dr Christine Goffinet
The investigation of antiviral factors of the first line of defence opens a new perspective for antiviral strategies – particularly for persistent viruses such as HIV and HCV.
Christine Goffinet received her initial training in Molecular Biology and Microbiology during her Biology studies at the University of Hamburg. 2004, she joined the laboratory group of Prof. Oliver Keppler at the Department of Infectious Diseases of the University of Heidelberg. During her doctoral studies, she worked on the characterization and advancement of the human CD4/human CCR5-transgenic rat model for HIV infection. During subsequent postdoctoral studies in Prof. Oliver Keppler's group, her research focused on the then recently identified HIV-1 restriction factor CD317/tetherin. 2010, she accepted an Independent Junior Research Group leader position at the Institute of Molecular Virology of the University of Ulm, headed by Prof. Kirchhoff. Her group investigates various aspects of HIV infection, including the ability of cellular proteins to impede HIV replication and mechanisms of cell-mediated sensing of HIV infection. Since 2013, as Junior Professor at MHH, she is leading the research group "Innate immunity and viral evasion" at the Institute for Experimental Virology at TWINCORE.