Pöhlmann, Stefan, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Head of the Infection Biology Unit, German Primate Center

  • 2000: Ph.D., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 2000-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003-2007: Head of a SFB Junior Research Group, Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 2007-2010: Professor for Experimental Virology, Hannover Medical School
  • 2010: Professor for Infection Biology at Georg-August-University Göttingen (Brückenprofessur) and Head of the Infection Biology Unit of the German Primate Center

Major Research Interests

Influenza viruses pose a global health threat. These viruses constantly change and therapeutics may thus cease to be effective. Therefore, we seek to develop novel influenza therapies. One focus of our work is on the host cell protease TMPRSS2 since we obtained evidence that influenza viruses depend on this enzyme for acquisition of infectivity. Moreover, we are investigating how defective interfering particles (DIPs) can be developed as novel therapeutics.

Emerging viruses may cause severe disease. Outbreaks frequently occur abroad but the agents can be imported into Germany via infected travelers. We are investigating how emerging viruses interact with host cells and cause disease. Our focus in on lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, Ebola virus and SARS coronavirus. One aim of our research is to develop cell culture systems that allow predicting transmissibility and thus pandemic potential of emerging viruses.

Another focus of our research is on primate herpesviruses. The transmission of herpes B virus from macaques to humans can cause serve disease while closely related viruses seem to be apathogenic in humans. We are investigating which viral and host factors determine whether infection will result in severe disease. Moreover, we are developing diagnostics for herpesvirus infections of non-human primates.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Hoffmann M, Mösbauer K, Hofmann-Winkler H, Kaul A, Kleine-Weber H, Krüger N, Gassen NC, Müller MA, Drosten C, Pöhlmann S (2020) Chloroquine does not inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection of human lung cells. Nature 585: 588-590
  • Wrapp D, De Vlieger D, Corbett KS, Torres GM, Wang N, Van Breedam W, Roose K, van Schie L, VIB-CMB COVID-19 Response Team, Hoffmann M, Pöhlmann S, Graham BS, Callewaert N, Schepens B, Saelens X, McLellan JS (2020) Structural Basis for Potent Neutralization of Betacoronaviruses by Single-Domain Camelid Antibodies. Cell 181(6):1436-1441
  • Hoffmann M, Kleine-Weber H, Pöhlmann S (2020) A multibasic cleavage site in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for infection of human lung cells. Molecular Cell 78(4):779-784.e5
  • Hoffmann M, Kleine-Weber H, Schroeder S, Krüger N, Herrler T, Erichsen S, Schiergens TS, Herrler G, Wu NH, Nitsche A, Müller MA, Drosten V, Pöhlmann S (2020) SARS-CoV-2 cell entry depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and is blocked by a clinically-proven protease inhibitor. Cell 181(2):271-280
  • Braun E, Hotter D, Koepke L, Zech F, Groß R, Sparrer KMF, Müller JA, Pfaller CK, Heusinger R, Wombacher R, Sutter K, Dittmer U, Winkler M, Simmons G, Jakobsen MR, Conzelmann KK, Pöhlmann S, Münch J, Fackler OT, Kirchhoff F, Sauter D (2019) Guanylate-Binding Proteins 2 and 5 Exert Broad Antiviral Activity by Inhibiting Furin-Mediated Processing of Viral Envelope Proteins. Cell Rep. 27(7):2092-2104
  • Nehls J, Businger R, Hoffmann M, Brinkmann C, Fehrenbacher B, Schaller M, Maurer B, Schönfeld C, Kramer D, Hailfinger S, Pöhlmann S, Schindler M (2019) Release of Immunomodulatory Ebola Virus Glycoprotein-Containing Microvesicles Is Suppressed by Tetherin in a Species-Specific Manner. Cell Rep. 26(7):1841-1853
  • Guo Y, Nehlmeier I, Poole E, Sakonsinsiri C, Hondow N, Brown A, Li Q, Li S, Whitworth J, Li Z, Yu A, Brydson R, Turnbull WB, Pöhlmann S, Zhou F (2017) Dissecting Multivalent Lectin-Carbohydrate Recognition Using Polyvalent Multifunctional Glycan-Quantum Dots. J Am Chem Soc. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b05104. IF : 13.9
  • Hoffmann M, Crone L, Dietzel E, Paijo J, González-Hernández M, Nehlmeier I, Kalinke U, Becker S, Pöhlmann S (2017) A Polymorphism within the Internal Fusion Loop of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Modulates Host Cell Entry. J Virol 13;91(9).
  • Pöhlmann S, Suntz M, Akimkin V, Bleyer M, Kaul A (2017) Herpes B virus replication and viral lesions in the liver of a cynomolgus macaque which died from severe disease with rapid onset. J Med Primatol doi: 10.1111/jmp.12269.
  • Zmora P, Molau-Blazejewska P, Bertram S, Walendy-Gnirß K, Nehlmeier I, Hartleib A, Moldenhauer AS, Konzok S, Dehmel S, Sewald K, Brinkmann C, Curths C, Knauf S, Gruber J, Mätz-Rensing K, Dahlmann F, Braun A, Pöhlmann S (2017) Non-human primate orthologues of TMPRSS2 cleave and activate the influenza virus hemagglutinin. PLoS One 11;12(5).
  • Gierer S, Müller MA, Heurich A, Ritz D, Springstein BL, Karsten CB, Schendzielor A, Gnirß K, Drosten C, Pöhlmann S (2014) Inhibition of proprotein convertases abrogates processing of the middle eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein in infected cells but does not reduce viral infectivity. J Infect Dis 211(6): 889-97.
  • Hatesuer B, Bertram S, Mehnert N, Bahgat MM, Nelson PS, Pöhlmann S, Schughart K (2013) Tmprss2 is essential for influenza H1N1 virus pathogenesis in mice. PLoS Pathog 9(12):e1003774.
  • Kühl A, Münch J, Sauter D, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Specht A, Hofmann H, Schneider H, Behrens G, Pöhlmann S (2010) Calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand does not restrict retrovirus release. Nat Med 16: 155-6.