Institute of Biochemistry

[Translate to English:] Biochemie Titelbild

Word of the month April

German         | English                 | Swedish

Immnsystem | Immune system | Immunförsvar

Head of the Institute

[Translate to English:] Institutsleitung

Prof. Dr. Gisa Gerold


Prof. Dr. Gisa Gerold
University professor; Head of the Institute
direct dial   +49 511 953-8781



Gisa Gerold studied biochemistry at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, where she received her diploma in biochemistry (minors in physical chemistry and microbiology) in 2003. In 2008, she received her Ph.D. in biology and biochemistry from Humboldt University Berlin, conducting her research at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology under the supervision of Professor Arturo Zychlinsky. Her doctoral thesis focused on the innate immune response to bacteria. This work was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society.

During her three years of postdoctoral research at the "Center of Hepatitis C" at the Rockefeller University, New York, USA under the direction of Professor Charles M. Rice, she worked on various aspects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including host tropism and HCV-related viruses in animals. From 2012 to 2017, she worked at Twincore, a joint facility of Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. There, she investigated mechanisms of HCV entry into hepatocytes using a combination of mass spectrometric proteomic analysis and virological methods. For her postdoctoral work, she solicited independent grants from the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP), and the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2017, the work was awarded the Robert Koch Prize for Postdoctoral Researchers in Virology.

From 2017 to 2020, she led the Viral Proteomics research group at Twincore's Institute of Experimental Virology and has held a visiting professorship at Umeå University in Sweden since 2018. The work at the Swedish Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine (WCMM) is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Kempe Foundation. Her German-Swedish team is studying the entry of human pathogenic viruses such as HCV, noroviruses and chikungunya virus into the host cell as well as the innate immunity of the host cell to viral infection. Using novel technologies including label-free protein quantification, her team aims to elucidate fundamental principles of virus entry and virus recognition.

Since 2019, Gisa Gerold has been a board member of the Center for Infection Biology (ZIB) and since 2020 an associate member of the RESIST Cluster of Excellence at Hannover Medical School. From 2017 to 2018, Gisa Gerold co-chaired the annual "Cell Biology of Viral Infections" workshop of the German Society of Virology (GfV) with Dr. Pierre-Yves Lozach (University of Lyon), where she was elected as a member of the advisory board in 2020 and to the board of Directors in 2023. In 2021, she established the new GfV working group "One Health and Zoonotic Viruses", which she co-chairs with Dr. Yvonne Börgeling from the University of Münster.

In 2020, Gisa Gerold was appointed Professor of Biochemistry - Focus Molecular and Clinical Infectiology - at the Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. There, as a member of the Institute of Biochemistry at the "Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses" (RIZ), her team conducts research on viruses that are transmitted from animals to humans and cause diseases in humans and animals. The focus is on mosquito-borne viruses of the alphavirus genus, on arenaviruses causing hemorrhagic fever, and on gastrointestinal viruses such as noroviruses. Methodologically, Gisa Gerold's team uses state-of-the-art proteomics approaches to discover new host factors of potentially epidemic-causing viruses and thus to understand which hosts are infected by the viruses and how the viruses trigger disease in specific tissues of humans and animals.

A biochemist and virologist, she has been director of the Institute of Biochemistry since 2022. In 2023, she was appointed deputy spokesperson of the VIPER Research Training Group. 

The German work is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The Swedish work is made possible by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Kempe Foundation and the Erling-Persson Foundation.

Research Interest

Molecular and Clinical Infection Biology (Professor Dr. Gisa Gerold)

  • Molecular basis of infection with zoonotic RNA viruses and species-specific RNA viruses
  • Research into host proteins and protein networks that explain host changes and represent antiviral therapeutic approaches

Gerold Group

Infection Biochemistry (Professor Dr. Maren von Köckritz-Blickwede)

  • Importance of extracellular networks in the innate immune response to zoonotic infections
  • Research into new therapeutic approaches that strengthen the immune system against infections

von Köckritz-Blickwede Group

Patho-/Biochemical Basics of Protein Targeting (Professor Dr. Hassan Y. Naim)

  • Molecular basis of intestinal diseases such as carbohydrate malabsorption and inflammatory bowel disease (colitis)
  • Lysosomal storage diseases

Naim Group

Host-Virus Interaction (Junior-Working Group, Dr. Imke Steffen)

  • New RNA viruses and their interaction with the human and animal host
  • The role of flavivirus NS1 proteins in viral pathogenesis
  • The role of MAVS in CNS-resident cells

Steffen Group

History of the Institute of Biochemistry

The Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover was founded in 1965 with Prof. Niesar as the first director and head of the Institute for Physiological Chemistry. The institute's office and laboratory rooms were initially located in the Physiological Institute building on the Bischofsholer Damm campus. As successor to Prof. Niesar, Prof. Jürgen Schole became the new director and head of the institute in 1969.

In 1977 the Institute of Physiological Chemistry moved into new office and laboratory rooms on two floors in Building 218 on the newly built campus on Bünteweg in the Kirchrode district. The staff of the institute at the new location included three professors, five research assistants, seven technical assistants, and several doctoral students. In addition to the courses in biochemistry for veterinary students, the main research focus of the institute included the investigation of the metabolic pathways of carbohydrates and fats in animals. After the retirement of Prof. Schole (Prof. em.), Prof. Hans-Peter Sallmann took over the management of the institute from 1992 to 1997.

In 1997 the biochemist and cell biologist Prof. Dr. Hassan Y. Naim accepted the call of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover as the new director and head of the institute. The research interests now expanded to the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of protein and membrane transport in the healthy body and in diseases. The research focuses on gastrointestinal diseases, lysosomal storage diseases, and prostate cancer. The teaching activities have also been expanded to include the entire curriculum of compulsory and elective courses in biochemistry for veterinary students. Furthermore, from now on, teaching and training events in cell and molecular biology as well as in pathobiochemistry were offered for biology and biochemistry students.

In 2004 Prof. Sallmann retired and the biotechnologist Prof. Bernd Otto from the Fraunhofer Institute became an associate member of the institute. Prof. Otto held the chair for biotechnology and molecular biology, which was founded by the state of Lower Saxony. Until his retirement in 2010, he participated in the teaching and training events of the Institute for Physiological Chemistry.

In 2010, Dr. Maren von Köckritz-Blickwede became a new employee at the institute. She had already gained several years of professional experience in research on infectious diseases at the University of California in San Diego and at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig. Dr. von Köckritz Blickwede, together with Prof. Naim, initiated new research projects to investigate the biochemical basis of infections and the immune system. The focus is laid here on the investigation of the so-called extracellular traps (ETs) of phagocytic cells. These projects established the new research focus on infection biochemistry within the Department of Biochemistry. In February 2015, Dr. von Köckritz-Blickwede accepted a W2 professorship at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover and became head of the new Infection Biochemistry Working Group at the Institute of Biochemistry.

In 2020, the biochemist and virologist Prof. Dr. Gisa Gerold accepted the call of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover as future director and head of the institute as part of the “Professorinnenprogramm III” of the federal government and the state of Lower Saxony. In 2022, Prof. Gerold took over as director of the institute. Her research interests include the study of protein interactions during infection with human pathogenic and zoonotic viruses. High-resolution quantitative mass spectrometric methods are used for this purpose. Special emphasis is put on the study of molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, species tropism, and zoonotic potential of viruses. Teaching activities in biochemistry were continued in the field of cell and molecular biology, and extended to modern proteome analysis and virus-host interaction. Prof. Gerold received the Postdoctoral Award of the Robert Koch Society as well as the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and is a board member of the German Society of Virology.


Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute of Biochemistry

Bünteweg 17, Gebäude 218
30559 Hannover
Tel.: +49 511 953-8781
Fax: +49 511 953-8585
Institute of Biochemistry

Map of Bünteweg Campus to Download


Navi-Adress: Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover


Directions Institute of Biochemistry

From the main train station take Underground Line 1 (Laatzen/Sarstedt),  Line 2 (Rethen) or Line 8 (Messe-Nord) for two stops to Aegidientorplatz. From Aegidientorplatz take Line 6 (Messe/Ost) to „Bünteweg/Tierärztliche Hochschule“.

As an alternative you can also walk from the main train station to the Underground station „Kröpcke“ then taking Line 6 (Messe/Ost) from there.

From the station „Bünteweg/Tierärztliche Hochschule“ please follow the Bünteweg for approx. 500 m until you reach the Bünteweg Campus on the right-hand side. As an alternative you can also take the Bus Line 370 (Mehrum) from the bus stop „Bünteweg/Tierärztliche Hochschule“ (next to the tower building) for one stop to „Westfalenhof“ which is located directly in front of the campus.