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EMBL/EMBO Joint Conference 2002

Hans-Georg Kräusslich, Department of Virology, University of Heidelberg, Germany


Hans-Georg Kräusslich obtained his MD degree from the University of Munich in 1985. After a three year postdoc in virology at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, he established his group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. In 1995 he accepted an offer to head the department of cell biology and virology at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute in Hamburg and in 1997 he became director of this institute. Since January 2000, Hans-Georg Kräusslich is professor for virology and director of the Department of Virology at Heidelberg University. For most of his career, Hans-Georg Kräusslich has been studying the replication of human immunodeficiency virus, focussing on the late steps of replication, including virus formation and maturation. This work addressed important aspects regarding function and inhibition of HIV protease and resistance development. Currently, he is coordinator of an EU-project on HIV protease-inhibitor resistance, of a state-funded collaborative research grant on resistance development of human pathogens and of a center grant on control of tropical infectious diseases at the University of Heidelberg.


Consequences and responses

While the two sessions and the panel discussion on the first day of the conference concentrate on establishing and assessing the global context within which infectious diseases afflict different populations of the world and focus on specific diseases and the attempts at developing scientific means to deal with them, it is the aim of the third session to move the attention to questions of how the available means to deal with infectious diseases are being developed and applied. The four speakers of this session will address these issues from the perspective of pharmaceutical industry as well as national and international organizations with a particular focus on the topic of public-private partnerships and on the translation of research and development advances into improved health and disease control in all parts of the world.

Quite clearly, improvements on many different lines have helped to overcome or contain some of the major infectious diseases of the past, but new infectious diseases have emerged and others reemerged in recent years, and the threat and challenge of infectious diseases is currently as formidable as ever. Effective strategies to overcome the infectious disease burden will require the development of safe and effective vaccines and of antimicrobial agents active against the emerging and spreading resistant strains, but will only be successful on a global scale if these agents can be delivered to all people afflicted at an affordable cost and with the knowledge how and when to use. This aim cannot be achieved by a single group, institution or research discipline, but will require close and open interaction between public and private institutions and between biomedical and social science.