HIV - Professor Eric Hunter
Dr. Eric Hunter’s distinguished career has focused primarily on research into the family of viruses that includes the causative agent of AIDS. He has lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally, and continues to teach at both graduate and undergraduate levels. He has enthusiastically mentored more than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom remain in research and have become leaders in their own right.
Dr. Hunter’s career has included graduate work in tumor immunology conducted at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund & Brunel University, London, England, and postdoctoral studies at the University of Southern California. Through his leadership, he was instrumental in establishing one of the first Centers for AIDS Research at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and currently co-directs the Emory Center for AIDS Research. His laboratory has been recognized internationally for its work in defining molecular events involved in HIV transmission and disease progression among heterosexual couples living in Rwanda and Zambia, as well as more basic molecular studies on retrovirus replication. His bibliography includes over 300 articles, reviews, and book chapters. He has also been the recipient of four NIH merit awards for his work on retrovirus and HIV molecular biology.
Dr. Hunter served as the Editor in Chief of the journal, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses for 10 years. He was Chair of the AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee, which is charged with providing advice and consultation on AIDS vaccine research to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and continues to serve on Editorial boards for several academic journals and on external advisory committees for several government, academic, and commercial institutions
Hepatitis - Professor Volker Lohmann
Dr. Volker Lohmann is independent group leader at Heidelberg University. He studied Biology at the University of Mainz, where he did his diploma thesis on the thymidine kinase of Herpes Simplex Virus. For his PhD thesis he joined the newly established laboratory of Ralf Bartenschlager at the Institute for Virology in Mainz in 1993 and received his degree in 1998. During his Postdoc time in the same laboratory he succeed in establishing selectable subgenomic replicons of the genotype 1b isolate Con1 and thereby created the first efficient cell culture system for HCV. This work was essential for further development of directly acting antivirals and has been widely used to study HCV host factor interactions. Volker Lohmann optimized the system by identifying cell culture adaptive mutations required for efficient replication of most HCV isolates in cell culture.
In 2002 Volker Lohmann moved on a permanent position as an independent group leader to the Department Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology in Heidelberg. Here he continued working on different aspects of HCV replication including the understanding of cell culture adaptation, structure-function analyses on the HCV polymerase and the identification of host cell factors engaged in HCV replication, e.g. the cellular lipid kinase PI4KA, Cyclophilins and microRNA 122. One of his focuses is a general understanding of the biogenesis of the membranous replication organelles of positive strand RNA viruses, in particular HCV and Norovirus. He is furthermore interested how HCV induces and counteracts innate and adaptive immune responses to finally achieve persistence, in contrast and comparison to hepatitis A virus infections, sharing a similar replication strategy, but always being cleared.