Dr. Catherine Schuster undertook her PhD studies at the University of Strasbourg, France. Following the completion of her PhD work in 1991 at the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IBMC), Strasbourg, France, she joined the group of Prof. B. Ehresmann, IBMC, where she participated in the isolation and functional characterization of a transcription factor involved in the activation of RNA polymerase III- and II-transcribed genes. She obtained a tenured position as a research associate of Inserm in 1995.
In 2000, Dr. Schuster joined Dr. M.P Kieny’s team at the Inserm Unit U544, Institut de Virologie de Strasbourg, France, to establish her own research group focusing on hepatitis C virus (HCV) translation and replication. She obtained a Young Scientist Award from the Fondation BNP-Paribas which funded partly her research during 10 years. She determined the secondary structure of the 3’ minus strand end of the viral genome which is crucial for HCV replication, a key development in HCV research. Her group established a clear understanding of the interplay between all HCV non-structural proteins in the viral replication complex. During this period, her group was actively involved in European consortiums established for the development of new HCV vaccines with several adenoviral and vaccinia virus-based vaccine formulations developed for the European consortium community.