Towards HIV-1 cure
Christine‘ s team has been studying cellular cofactors and antiviral restriction factors of HIV-1 infection, and how HIV-1 bypasses recognition by cellular sensors. Furthermore, the team is investigating cellular and viral mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence, latency and reactivation, which is crucial for the advancement of HIV-1 cure strategies. Finally, it is characterising epigenetic and transcriptomic profiles of CD4+ T-cells of HIV-1 elite controllers, with the goal to identify correlates of efficient and sustained HIV-1 control. This work is partially supported by a Professorship Award of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Identifying vulnerable points of attack to combat arthritogenic alphavirus infection
Alphaviruses can cause severe acute and chronic disease in humans, including long-term debilitating arthralgia. Christine’s team is deciphering the characteristics of alphaviral infections, including Chikungunya and Mayaro viruses, by analyzing cell-intrinsic innate immune responses, and viral determinants of infection and immune evasion. Results have the potential to enhance our limited understanding of alphaviral pathogenesis and may impact the development of antiviral therapies. This work is partially supported by funding by the German Research Foundation.
Understanding intra-patient routes of Monkeypox virus dissemination
How poxviruses disseminate within an infected patient remains elusive. In the context of the MPOX virus 2022 outbreak, Christine‘ s team initiated studies on the potential susceptibility and permissivity of human peripheral bood cells to MPOX virus infection, and their contribution to pathogenesis. This work is partially supported by the Berlin Institute of Health.
Analysing SARS-CoV-2 evasion mechanisms to antiviral therapy
SARS-CoV-2 is equipped with various accessory proteins who can antagonise cellular defense mechanisms. Christine‘ s team has established cell type-specific responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and a spike-dependent advantage of SARS-CoV-2 VOC Alpha in conditions of low ACE2 expression. Furthermore, her team has been elucidating the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to evade antiviral states induced by treatment with iBETs and to escape from humoral immunity by using the cell-to-cell transmission mode which exploits intimate intercellular contacts.
Awards and Fellowships
10/2023 Professorship Award of the Academy of Medical Sciences
06/2017 AIDS Award of the German AIDS Society
04/2013-10/2013 Habilitation fellowship from the Margarete von Wrangell Program (granted funding period five years, ended 10/2013 due to move to Hannover)
11/2012 Postdoctoral Award for Virology of the Robert Koch Foundation
10/2010 Wolfgang Stille Award of the Paul Ehrlich Society for Chemotherapy
01/2010-10/2010 Postdoctoral fellowship of the Medical Faculty of the University Heidelberg (funding period two years, ended 10/2010 due to move to Ulm)
01/2008-12/2009 Postdoctoral fellowship from the Peter und Traudl Engelhorn Foundation
11/2007 Hygiene Award of the Rudolf Schuelke Foundation
06/2007 AIDS Research Award of the German Society for Infectiology
10/2023-09/2026 Professorship Award of the Academy of Medical Sciences, ‘DESIRE - Developing Strategies for Improved HIV-1 Latency Reversal and Elimination’, £500,000 to CG for three years, CG P.I.
01/2023-012026 Research Grant of the German Research Foundation within the German-Thai Funding Programme for Joint Research Projects in the Field of ‘Arboviruses’, ‘CHIVA - Dissecting chikungunya virus adaptation by functional analysis’, €358,450 to CG for three years, CG, Yong Poovorawan, Sompong Vongpunsawad Co-P.I.s
07/2022-12/2022 Grant within the Sequencing Call of DZIF, ‘Towards multidimensional modeling of HIV-1 latency reversal’, €45,205 for six months, CG P.I.
07/2022-12/2022 Research Grant of the Berliner Sparkassen Stiftung, ‘Inhibition of bromodomain and extra-terminal proteins (BET) as a therapeutic strategy in COVID-19’, €50,000 for six months, CG P.I.
05/2021-04/2024 Research Grant of the Hector Foundation, ‘Deep dive into the cellular milieu of HIV-1 elite controllers: Analysis of basal cellular state and susceptibility to HIV-1 reactivation’, €250,000 for three years; CG, Clara Lehmann, Julian Schulze zur Wiesch Co-P.I.s
01/2021-12/2023 Research Grant of the German Research Foundation within French-German Collaboration for Joint Projects in Natural, Life and Engineering (NLE) Sciences, ‘COALITION - From cells over organisms to populations - Characterization of outcomes of emerging alphavirus infections’; €240,173 for three years to CG; CG, Felix Drexler, Xavier de Lamballerie, Laurent Meertens Co-P.I.s
01/2021-12/2028 Research Grant within DZIF, TTU HIV, HIV Reservoir, €182,927 für seven years, CG PI
03/2020-02/2023 Research Grant of the German Research Foundation (Priority Program 1923 ‘Innate sensing and restriction of retroviruses’), ‘Characterization of the effectiveness of the cGAS-mediated DNA sensing pathway in primary HIV-1-infected CD4+ T-cells’, €336,150 for three years, CG P.I.
01/2019-12/2023 Research Grant from the Impulse and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Society, HGF-EU partnering grant PIE-008 ‘MCMVaccine’, €308,188 for five years to CG; CG, Luca Cicin-Sain, Thomas Pietschmann, Stipan Jonjic Co-P.I.s
07/2018-12/2022 Research Grant of the German Research Foundation (SFB 900 ‘Chronic infections: microbial persistence and its control’), „Characterization of the secretory glycoprotein 90K as an antiviral restriction factor’, €239,700 for four years, CG P.I.