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Dr. Imke Steffen

Dr. Imke Steffen studied biochemistry at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Her thesis work titled "Expression, purification and crystallization of the Drosophila Period protein" was performed at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund. Subsequently, she took part in the ERASMUS program and studied for a year at the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal. Dr. Steffen conducted her Master thesis "Identification of immunomodulatory substances in stable dust extracts" in the Experimental Pneumology department at the Ruhr-University Bochum.

In 2007, Dr. Steffen received a scholarship from the Hannover Biomedical Research School and conducted her doctoral thesis "Identification and characterization of HIV capsid assembly inhibitors" at the Institute for Virology of the Hannover Medical School. She received her Dr. rer. nat. with distinction in January 2011. Following her graduation she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, CA. Her work was supported by a research fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2013 to 2016.

Since July 2017 Dr. Steffen leads a research group at the Institute of physiological chemistry and Research Center for emerging infections and zoonoses the veterinary University of Hannover, on the theme "Emerging RNA viruses and their interaction with the human and animal host".


1.    Steffen I and Simmons G. (2016) Pseudotyping viral vectors with emerging virus envelope proteins. Current Gene Therapy, 16(1):47-55.

2.    Steffen I and Simmons G. (2015) Coronaviruses. eLS Citable reviews in the life sciences, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023611.

3.    Steffen I and Simmons G. (2015) Emerging Rhabdoviruses. In Biology and Pathogenesis of Rhabdo- and Filoviruses, Editors: A. K. Pattnaik and M. A. Whitt, World Scientific, p. 311-334.

4.    Steffen I, Liss NM, Schneider BS, Fair JN, Chiu CY, Simmons G. (2013) Characterization of the Bas-Congo virus glycoprotein and its function in pseudotyped viruses. J Virol. Sep;87(17):9558-68.

5.    Salvador B, Sexton NR, Carrion Jr. R, Nunneley J, Patterson JL, Steffen I, Lu K, Muench MO, Lembo D, Simmons G. (2013) Filoviruses utilize glycosamino-glycans for their attachment to target cells. J Virol. Mar;87(6):3295-304.

6.    Lindemann D, Steffen I, Pöhlmann S. (2013) Cellular entry of retroviruses. Adv Exp Med Biol. 790:128-49.

7.    Kiene M, Marzi A, Urbanczyk A, Bertram S, Fisch T, Nehlmeier I, Gnirß K, Karsten CB, Palesch D, Münch J, Chiodi F, Pöhlmann S, Steffen I. (2012) The role of the alternative coreceptor GPR15 in SIV tropism for human cells. Virology. Nov 10;433(1):73-84.

8.    Grard G, Fair JN, Lee D, Slikas E, Steffen I, Muyembe J-J, Sittler T, Veeraraghavan N, Ruby JG, Wang C, Makuwa M, Mulembakani P, Tesh RB, Mazet J, Rimoin AW, Taylor T, Schneider BS, Simmons G, Delwart E, Wolfe ND, Chiu CY, Leroy EM. (2012) A Novel Rhabdovirus Associated with Acute Hemorrhagic Fever in Central Africa. PLoS Pathog. Sep;8(9):e1002924.

9.    Lee D, Das Gupta J, Gaughan C, Steffen I, Tang N, Luk K-C, Qiu X, Urisman A, Fischer N, Molinaro R, Broz M, Schochetman G, Klein EA, Ganem D, DeRisi JL, Simmons G, Hackett J, Silverman RH, Chiu CY. (2012) In-Depth Investigation of Archival and Prospectively Collected Samples Reveals No Evidence for XMRV Infection in Prostate Cancer. PLoS One 7(9):e44954.

10.  Zhou Y, Steffen I, Montalvo L, Lee T-H, Zemel R, Switzer WM, Tang S, Jia H, Heneine W, Winkelman V, Tailor CS, Ikeda Y, Simmons G. (2012) Development and Application of a High-Throughput Micro-Neutralization Assay - Lack of XMRV/MLV Detection in Blood Donors. Transfusion. Feb;52(2):332-42.

11.  Bertram S*, Glowacka I*, Müller MA*, Lavender H, Gnirss K, Simmons G, Drosten C, Soilleux EJ, Steffen I, Pöhlmann S. (2011) Cleavage and activation of the SARS-coronavirus spike-protein by human airway trypsin-like protease (HAT). J Virol. Dec;85(24):13363-72.

12.  Kühl A, Banning C, Marzi A, Votteler J, Steffen I, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Konrad A, Stürzl M, Guo J-T, Schubert U, Feldmann H, Behrens G, Schindler M, Pöhlmann S. (2011) The Ebola Virus Glycoprotein and HIV-1 Vpu Employ Different Strategies to Counteract the Antiviral Factor Tetherin. J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;204 Suppl 3:S850-60.

13.  Pfefferle S, Schöpf J, Kögl M, Friedel CC, Müller MA, Carbajo-Lozoya J, Stellberger T, von Dall'armi E, Herzog P, Kallies S, Niemeyer D, Ditt V, Kuri T, Züst R, Pumpor K, Hilgenfeld R, Schwarz F, Zimmer R, Steffen I, Weber F, Thiel V, Herrler G, Thiel HJ, Schwegmann-Weßels C, Pöhlmann S, Haas J, Drosten C, von Brunn A. (2011) The SARS-Coronavirus-Host Interactome: Identification of Cyclophilins as Target for Pan-Coronavirus Inhibitors. PLoS Pathog. Oct;7(10):e1002331.

14.  Steffen I, Tyrrell DL, Stein E, Montalvo L, Lee TH, Zhou Y, Lu K, Switzer WM, Tang S, Jia H, Hockman D, Santer DM, Logan M, Landi A, Law J, Houghton M, Simmons G. (2011) No evidence for XMRV nucleic acids, infectious virus or anti-XMRV antibodies in Canadian patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. PLoS One. 6(11):e27870.

15.  Pipirou Z, Powlesland AS, Steffen I, Pöhlmann S, Taylor ME, Drickamer K. (2011) Mouse LSECtin as a model for a human Ebola virus receptor. Glycobiology. Jun;21(6):806-12.

16.  Simmons G, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Chaipan C, Agudelo J, Lu K, Rennekamp AJ, Hofmann H, Bates P, Pöhlmann S. (2011) Different host cell proteases activate the SARS-coronavirus spike-protein for cell-cell and virus-cell fusion. Virology. May 10;413(2):265-74.

17.  Glowacka I*, Bertram S*, Müller MA, Allen P, Soilleux E, Pfefferle S, Steffen I, Tsegaye TS, He Y, Gnirss K, Niemeyer D, Schneider H, Drosten C, Pöhlmann S. (2011) Evidence that TMPRSS2 activates the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein for membrane fusion and reduces viral control by the humoral immune response. J Virol. May;85(9):4122-34.

18.  Bertram S*, Glowacka I*, Blazejewska P, Soilleux E, Allen P, Danisch S, Steffen I, Choi SY, Park Y, Schneider H, Schughart K, Pöhlmann S. (2010) TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4 facilitate trypsin-independent spread of influenza virus in Caco-2 cells. J Virol. Oct;84(19):10016-25.

19.  Peters M, Kauth M, Scherner O, Gehlhar K, Steffen I, Wentker P, von Mutius E, Holst O, Bufe A. (2010) Arabinogalactan isolated from cowshed dust extract protects mice from allergic airway inflammation and sensitization. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Sep;126(3):648-56.e1-4.

20.  Bertram S, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Kühl A, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Novel insights into proteolytic cleavage of influenza virus hemagglutinin. Rev Med Virol. Sep;20(5):298-310.

21.  Chaipan C*, Steffen I*, Tsegaye TS*, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Kato Y, Schmökel J, Münch J, Simmons G, Gerardy-Schahn R, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Incorporation of podoplanin into HIV released from HEK-293T cells, but not PBMC, is required for efficient binding to the attachment factor CLEC-2. Retrovirology. May 19;7:47. 

22.  Steffen I, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Peptide-based inhibitors of the HIV envelope protein and other class I viral fusion proteins. Curr Pharm Des. 16(9):1143-58.

23.  Steffen I, Tsegaye TS, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Lectin-like interactions in virus-cell recognition: human immunodeficiency virus and C-type lectin interactions. In Microbial Glycobiology: Structures, Relevance and Applications, Elsevier Science, p. 567-584.

24.  Kühl A, Münch J, Sauter D, Bertram S, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Specht A, Hofmann H, Schneider H, Behrens G, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand does not restrict retrovirus release. Nat Med. Feb;16(2):155-6.

25.  Glowacka I*, Bertram S*, Herzog P, Pfefferle S, Steffen I, Muench MO, Simmons G, Hofmann H, Kuri T, Weber F, Eichler J, Drosten C, Pöhlmann S. (2010) Differential downregulation of ACE2 by the spike proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and human coronavirus NL63. J Virol. Jan;84(2):1198-205.

26.  Chaipan C*, Kobasa D*, Bertram S*, Glowacka I, Steffen I, Tsegaye TS, Takeda M, Bugge TH, Kim S, Park Y, Marzi A, Pöhlmann S. (2009) Proteolytic activation of the 1918 influenza virus hemagglutinin. J Virol. Apr;83(7):3200-11.

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