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Members > Spotlights > Ab Osterhaus

GVN Center and Member Spotlight

Ab Osterhaus
Scientific Director
The Research Center for Emerging Infections and  Zoonoses (RIZ)
University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover


What are the major problems that we are facing to curb the current pandemic situation?

  • Mitigation and suppression of the virus spreading
  • Testing strategy coupled with contact tracing and quarantining.
  • Development of preventive and curative medication, including antibody preparations
  • Development of a preventive vaccine.

What are you and your institution currently working on regarding SARS-CoV-2?

  • Animal models for screening of candidate medicines and vaccines
  • Animal models for pathogenesis studies
  • Correlates of antibody and T cell mediated protection and enhancement
  • Clinical trials for candidate medicines and vaccines


Bio sketch

As professor and head of Virology at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Ab Osterhaus has had a long track record as PI of numerous scientific projects, guiding a multidisciplinary team of over 100 “viroscience” colleagues in their quest for scientific excellence studying human and animal virus infections. More than 70 human and animal viruses were discovered (e.g. human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, influenza viruses), their pathogenesis elucidated, and innovative intervention strategies developed. He helped authorities like WHO, to combat emerging infections like SARS, MERS and avian influenza. Currently he is Professor and Founding Director of the Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. He published >1300 papers (H-index 114, citations: 69,870), trained >80 PhD’s, received numerous prestigious awards, is on the editorial board of several scientific journals. He is chair of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) since 2000 and of the One Health Platform since 2015, member of the Dutch and German National Academies of Sciences, and Commander of the Order of the Dutch Lion.

Overview of The Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonosis and GVN

The Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonosis (RIZ) is a ‘One Health’ research center embedded in the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover. RIZ has state-of-the-art research facilities and focuses on the identification and characterization of emerging animal and human viruses, and the development of intervention strategies to control their impact. RIZ became a GVN Center of Excellence in 2016 and has been a strong advocate for growth and expansion of the GVN's mission.