Leibniz Virology Lecture

At the Leibniz Virology Lecture, renowned external scientists give an annual insight into their research work and are honoured by the LIV for their special achievements with the Leibniz Virology Prize.

The event is open to all employees of the LIV and the CSSB as well as interested students and scientists.

The following renowned award winners were honored in previous years: 

  1. The first award winner in 2006 was Peter K. Vogt, head of Oncovirology at The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, La Jolla, California. His lecture was about ‘Lessons of Tumor Virology: From Viral Oncoproteins to Drug Targets’.
  2. Thomas Shenk, Elkins and American Cancer Society Professor at Princeton University, was the award winner in 2007. Tomas Shenk has spent many years working on gene regulation in adenoviruses. His research led to the identification of important viral regulatory genes and their roles in viral replication.
  3. Rudolf Jaenisch gave the 2008 Lecture on ‘Stem cells, pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming’. Rudolf Jaenisch, founding member of the Whitehead Institute (Cambridge, USA) was a departmental head at the LIV (formerly HPI) from 1975 to 1985. The institute honors him for his outstanding work on therapeutic cloning, transgenic mouse models and stem cell research.
  4. Harald zur Hausen was the Lecture award winner in 2009. The institute honored the longstanding scientific director of the German Cancer Research Center for his fundamental and ground breaking discovery that cervical cancer is caused by infection with human papilloma virus. The virologist thereby enabled the development of a vaccine against this cancer in women. The honorary lecture was entitled: ‘Cancers linked to infections: a pathogenesis often spanning decades‘.
  5. Arnold Levine, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University was awarded with the Lecture in 2010. Arnold Levine belongs to the leading cancer researchers worldwide and was one of the discoverers of the p53 protein. He characterized p53 for the first time as a tumor suppressor and carried out extensive research on the p53 gene family and its complex role as a ‘guardian of survival’.
  6. In 2011 the institute honored Ari Helenius with the Lecture. For over 30 years the biochemist has investigated how viruses enter and infect cells.  A professor at the ETH in Zurich, Ari Helenius is now a renowned expert worldwide in this area of virus research. The honorary lecture was entitled, ‘A systems approach to virus entry’.
  7. In 2012 the institute honored Patrick S. Moore with the annual lecture for discovering two of the seven known human tumor viruses. Moore’s lecture ‘Merkel Cell Polyomavirus: Using Genomics to Search for Causes and Cures for Cancer’ was about the discovery and biology of the tumor virus.
  8. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has spoken 2013 in her lecture 'Achievements and Challenges of HIV science in the 21st Century' about HIV in the 21st Century. At the Pasteur Institute in Paris she identified in 1983 the HIV virus as the cause of the approximately two years earlier described deadly Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In 2008 she got the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine.
  9. In 2014 the institute honored with its traditional event the virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka. The renowned influenza expert was one of the first scientists, who found out that the influenza virus of Spanish flu originally was a bird virus. His lecture was devoted to highly pathogenic influenza viruses, how they cross host barriers and the potential danger to be able to trigger a pandemic.
  10. In 2015 Ann M. Arvin, chief of the infectious diseases division of pediatrics at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, as well as Stanford's vice provost and dean of research, gave the lecture. The lecture honored her research work regarding the molecular mechanisms of the Varicella zoster virus (VZV).
  11.  In 2016 Beatrice H. Hahn was honored with the lecture. In her talk with title 'Dissecting HIV-1 Transmission' she presented new insights from her research work regarding HIV-1 transmission.
  12.  Charles M. Rice was honored with the lecture in 2017. In his talk the HCV expert presented new insights into cell type-specific antiviral immunity.
  13.  The lecture 2018 honored the renowned HIV expert Bruce Walker His lecture entitled Immune Control of HIV: Learning from Patients presented new insights into his current research work.
  14.  In 2019 the lecture honored Ralf Bartenschlager. In his lecture, the HCV expert talked about Hepatitis C virus and its relatives: Quite similar, but so different.
  15. In 2023, Félix A. Rey was honoured with the lecture. In his lecture, the structural biology expert spoke on the topic of Class II viral envelope proteins: from viruses to cells, or vice-versa?

Note: Until 2021 the honorary lecture was called "Heinrich Pette Lecture", this name was abandoned due to the reappraisal of the topic "Heinrich Pette's work in the Nazi era". The new name for the honorary lecture "Leibniz Virology Lecture" was chosen in 2022.


Julia Häberlein

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