At Inserm UMR_S1110, Institute of Viral and Liver Disease, we are studying the hepatitis C virus (HCV), the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), all with major repercussions on public health worldwide. Major unmet medical needs include the related complications of chronic infection, the absent/limited strategies to prevent/treat advanced liver disease and liver cancer, the limitations of current treatments against HBV-induced chronic hepatitis and the lack of vaccines for prevention of HIV and HCV infection. We are also interested in studying virus-host interactions of emerging viruses such as Dengue virus and Zika virus.

Using innovative approaches we are dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying virus-host interactions including early stages of viral infection, genome replication and the assembly of viral particles. Furthermore, were are uncovering cell circuits that drive and maintain HCV/HBV infection and cause liver disease and cancer. Interactions of viruses with the immune system are also under investigation for vaccine development. In a joint program with the University of Strasbourg and the Strasbourg University Hospitals, we achieve unique synergies allowing ultimately the identification of novel targets for preventive and therapeutic strategies against viral infection and liver disease including liver cancer.

 

 

The Institute of Viral and Liver disease develops innovative integrative research programs addressing the next challenges in liver disease by unraveling novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers. By providing a novel understanding of liver disease biology and the discovery of novel targets and biomarkers, this program will impact the management of patients with liver disease and cancer in France, Europe and beyond.

I- Unraveling the cell circuits of liver disease and cancer to discover novel therapeutic targets

Principal Investigator: Prof. Thomas F. Baumert, MD, PhD

Chronic liver disease and cancer are key challenges of public health with unsatisfactory treatment options. Key causes are chronic viral infection and metabolic disease (NASH). My laboratory focuses on unraveling the cell circuits of liver disease and cancer to discover novel therapeutic targets. Using a recently established single cell RNASeq pipeline (Aizarani, Saviano et al. Nature 2019) combined with advanced proteomics and patient-derived cell culture and animal models (Mailly et al. Nature Biotech 2015) my laboratory aims to understand the cell circuits of virus- and metabolic liver cancer (Hamdane et al. Gastroenterology 2019, Lupberger et al. Gastroenterology 2019). Furthermore, my team is exploring host cell targets to eliminate hepatitis B virus infection – a major cause of liver cancer world-wide. The understanding of disease biology on a molecular level enables us to uncover novel targets and compounds for treatment. A unique hallmark of my program is the integration of laboratory studies with patient data using advanced computational analyses. In collaboration with Biotech, Pharma and the IHU and Strasbourg University Hospitals we translate our concepts and compounds into the clinic.

Associated Investigators :

Dr. François Duong, PhD

Dr. Atish Mukherji, PhD

 

II- Molecular biology of HCV virus-host interactions

Principal Investigator: Dr. Catherine Schuster, PhD

Aiming at the identification of novel targets for preventive and therapeutic strategies against Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced liver disease, we focus on the characterization of virus host-interactions and the pathogenesis of HCV infection during the late steps of the HCV life cycle. We are especially interested in the relationship between HCV and cell host lipids and lipoproteins as well as the regulation of HCV IRES driven translation.

 

III- Signaling and virus-host interactions 

Principal Investigator: Dr. Joachim Lupberger, PhD

To uncover the signaling pathways and drivers of liver disease progression we are assessing the phospho-proteomic landscape of liver disease models. We are using cutting edge bioinformatics to identify etiology-specific and common signaling pattern and to predict regulatory circuits and drivers of liver disease progression as putative targets for chemopreventive strategies. We validate the identified pathways using liver disease animal models and conduct small molecule drug screenings targeting identified signaling pathways with potential relevance for hepatocellular carcinoma development.

 

IV- Molecular biology of HBV and HDV virus-host interactions

Principal Investigator: Dr. Eloi Verrier, PhD

Our laboratory focuses on virus-host interactions in the context of hepatitis B and D virus (HBV and HDV) infections, the most aggressive forms of chronic viral hepatitis and leading causes of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. To date, no treatment allows viral cure. Our key focus is to understand the viral life cycle of HDV and uncover hepatocyte host factors mediating HDV infection as novel therapeutic targets for cure. In collaboration with national and international leading research groups, we are applying novel model systems and cutting-edge functional genomics for drug and target discovery. The discovery of new therapeutic agents targeting these candidate host factors constitutes a major step towards the development of novel treatments for viral cure.

 

V- SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus-host interactions and therapeutic targets

Principal Investigator: Prof. Thomas F. Baumert, MD, PhD

The novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in China in December 2019 and is continuing to spread all over the world constitutes a major public health emergency. With currently almost 130.000 people infected and close to 5000 deceased from the Covid-19 disease the search for factors involved in virus spread and replication is paramount to develop tools to fight the ongoing pandemic.

Using our internationally recognized expertise to discover host factors as targets for antiviral therapy (Lupberger et al, Nat Med 2011; Zona et al, Cell Host Microbe 2013; Mailly, Nat Biotechnol 2015; Verrier et al, Hepatology 2016; Colpitts et al, Gut 2018, Verrier ER, Gut 2020; reviewed in Crouchet et al, Therap Adv Gastroenterol 2018) we have established the expertise and model systems to contribute to the global effort to find novel compounds to fight SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using established coronavirus model systems (Letko et al, Nat Microbiol 2020, Hoffmann et al, Cell 2020) we will discover host factors for the coronavirus life cycle focusing on virus cell entry and replication. Specifically, we will assess the antiviral activity of compounds targeting common host factors of HCV and coronaviruses. Collectively, we anticipate that our program will uncover novel strategies and compounds for antiviral therapy for urgently needed control and cure of coronavirus infection.

 

National French contracts
ANRS, ANR, LabEx HepSYS, IdEx, Fondation BNP-Paribas, CONECTUS, Fondation Recherche Médicale, Insitut National du Cancer, La Ligue Contre le Cancer, Région Alsace, Fondation ARC Pour La Recherche Sur Le Cancer, Fondation Université de Strasbourg, Institut Roche, Euromedex

International Contracts
European Union, Fond Européen de Développement Régional (FEDER), Interreg IV Rhin Supérieur (Hepato-Regio-Net), European Research Council, Infect-ERA, Horizon 2020, Foundation Else-Kröner-Fresenius, German Liver Foundation, Inserm EAL University of Freibourg, National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health

HepSYS

HEPCIR

Hepato-Regio-Net

HEP-CAR

HepaMAb

 

May 2020

Two of our research projects on the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the disease COVID-19, have been selected following the ANR (Agence nationale de la recherche) Flash-COVID-19 call. These projects are both receiving an ANR funding of €200,000 to support our researchers in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.

 

 

TargEnt-COVID-19: A project targeting viral cell entry for COVID-19 control and cure

March 2020

Our unit involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

The novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in China in December 2019 and is continuing to spread all over the world constitutes a major public health emergency. With currently almost 130.000 people infected and close to 5000 deceased from the Covid-19 disease the search for factors involved in virus spread and replication is paramount to develop tools to fight the ongoing pandemic.

March 2020

Congrats to Dr. Andres Roca-Suarez for receiving the 2019 thesis prize from the “Société de Biologie de Strasbourg” (SBS) for his work carried out in our institute on the expression of human protein phosphatases during chronic infection by hepatitis C virus and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
 

Please join us at the SBS Thesis Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday March 24, 2020 (afternoon and early evening), at the amphitheater of the European Doctoral College, 46 Bd de la Victoire, 67000 Strasbourg.

March 2020

Congrats to Dr. Andres Roca-Suarez for receiving the 2019 thesis prize from the “Société de Biologie de Strasbourg” (SBS), for his work carried out in our institute on the expression of human protein phosphatases during chronic infection by hepatitis C virus and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
 

Please join us at the SBS Thesis Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday March 24, 2020 (afternoon and early evening), at the amphitheater of the European Doctoral College, 46 boulevard de la Victoire, F- 67000 Strasbourg.

February 2020

Congratulations to Katharina Herzog for receiving a thesis award during the ANRS AC42 "Fundamental Research on Viral Hepatitis" annual meeting for her work carried out in our institute on the O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase as a host factor modulating hepatitis C virus morphogenesis and infectivity.

The ANRS AC42 annual meeting took place in Paris the 6-7th of February, 2020

See the related publication here.

 

  • We seek

    Postdoctoral/ project leader

    1st July 2019 : Scientist/project leader position in target and drug discovery for chronic liver disease and cancer using computational analyses and single cell RNASeq

  • We seek

    PhD students

    July, 2019: We are seeking PhD students. We are interested in hearing from you! Our post-graduate training program is designed to guarantee your development into a world class research scientist.

  • We seek

    Post-docs

    Postdoctoral positions funded by EU programs are open now!

  • We seek

    Junior team leader

    The Inserm Unit U1110, Strasbourg, France is inviting applications from junior group leaders with an excellent track record and a research interest in the study of virus-host interactions.

Inserm unit UMR_S1110
3 rue Koeberlé
67000 Strasbourg
France
 
For information please contact:
Ms Catherine Corbel
Personal assistant of Prof. Thomas Baumert
Phone +33 (0)3.68.85.37.03
catherine.corbel@unistra.fr

 

Charlotte Bach
Tech Inserm
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.27
cbach@unistra.fr
Dr. Laurent Mailly
IR Unistra
Animal models platfrom responsible
Tel. +(0)3.68.85.37.91
laurent.mailly@unistra.fr
Dr. Simonetta Bandiera
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.27
sbandiera@unistra.fr
Marine Oudot
Tech CDD Unistra
Tel. +(0)3.68.85.37.13
laurent.mailly@unistra.fr
Prof. Thomas Baumert
Head Inserm U1110
Group leader
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.03
Thomas.Baumert@unistra.fr

Contact Prof. Baumert's assistant
Marie Parnot
Tech Inserm
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.07
m.parnot@unistra.fr
Nicolas Brignon
Tech Unistra
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.30
nicolas.brignon@unistra.fr
Richard Pidl
Animal care
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.30
Richard.Pidl@unistra.fr
Dr. Che Colpitts
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
colpitts@unistra.fr
Andres Roca
PhD student
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38

andres.roca-suarez@etu.unistra.fr
Catherine Corbel
Prof. Baumert's personal assistant
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.03
catherine.corbel@unistra.fr
Dr. Eric Robinet
Group leader
Tél. +33 (0)3.88.11.91.73 and
+33 (0)3.68.85.37.91
eric.robinet@ihu-strasbourg.eu
Emilie Crouchet
PhD student
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.07
emilie.crouchet@etu.unistra.fr
Dr. Catherine Schuster
Deputy Director Inserm U1110
Group leader
Tél. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.41
catherine.schuster@unistra.fr
Sarah Durand
Tech Unistra
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.27
s.durand@unistra.fr
Sigis Sliwinski
IT support and logistics
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.13
Sigismond.Sliwinski@unistra.fr
Dr. Houssein El Saghire
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
elsaghire@unistra.fr

 
Dr. Christine Thumann
IR Inserm
BSL3 platform responsbile
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
christine.thumann@unistra.fr
Dr. Catherine Fauvelle
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
fauvelle@unistra.fr
Nicolaas Van Renne
PhD student
Tél. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
vanrenne@unistra.fr
Jérémy Grasser
Maintenance
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.46
j.grasser@unistra.fr
Dr. Eloi Verrier
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
e.verrier@unistra.fr
Dr. Nourdine Hamdane
Postdoc
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38

anhamdane@unistra.fr
Patricia Wechsler
Glassware and autoclaving
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.13

patricia.wechsler@unistra.fr
Emilie Heuillard
Tech CDD IHU
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.91

emilie.heuillard@ihu-strasbourg.eu
SeungAe Yim
PhD student
Tel. +(0)3.68.85.37.07

seungae.yim@etu.unistra.fr
Laura Heydmann
AI Unistra
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.27
heydmann@unistra.fr
Dr. Mirjam Zeisel
Goup leader
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.09
mirjam.zeisel@unistra.fr
Dr. Olga Koutsopoulos
IR CDD Inserm
Project manager
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.38
koutsopoulos@unistra.fr
Anne Zeter
Financial officer and grant manager
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.02
anne.zeter@unistra.fr
Dominique Lecestre
Logistics and equipment
Tel. +33 (0)3.68.85.37.08
lecestre@unistra.fr
 
Dr. Joachim Lupberger
Staff scientist
Tel. +33 (0)3 68 85 37 15
joachim.lupberger@unistra.fr
 

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Institut de Recherche sur les Maladies Virales et Hépatiques
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