About the Institute of Virology

In this section you can read more about the Institute of Virology of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin:

  • History
  • News
  • Annual Reports
  • Team
  • Journey and Directions

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  • About the Institute.

The tasks of the institute include

  • research in general and medical virology,
  • teaching of students of medicine, dentistry, biology and other disciplines as well as
  • clinical virus diagnostics.

The Institute of Virology at the Medizinische Fakultät (Charité) of the Humboldt-Universität was founded in 1958. It is therefore one of the oldest institutes in the field of German university medicine. Read more under "History".

On the following web pages, you can find the news and annual reports. We present our efforts in research, education and health care as well as our national and international collaborations in our annual reports (only available in German) since 1991.

Furthermore, information about the team of the institute is provided. A list of phone numbers and a guide how to find us on campus can be found under "Contact and Directions".

History: The Institute in the Helmut Ruska House

The Institute of Virology and its staff represent the field of clinical, molecular and general virology in research and teaching. It is integrated into the medical care by comprehensive virological diagnostics.

The institute carries out virological diagnostics in the form of antibody, antigen, nucleic acid and virus detection. It is also National Consiliary Laboratory for Corona and Hantaviruses.

Helmut Ruska

In 2003, the institute building at the Campus Charité Mitte was given the name "Helmut-Ruska-Haus", in remembrance of Helmut Ruska (1908-1973) who provided oustanding contributions to the development of virology and biomedicine.

Origin of virological research

The history of pathogens research is tightly woven into the history of Charité. At the turn of the 19th century, Robert Koch, Emil von Bering and Paul Ehrlich laid the foundations of microbiology and immunology in a broader sense. Friedrich Loeffler, the discoverer of the foot-and-mouth-disease virus, was a co-worker of Robert Koch.

As early as the 1930s, experimental culture of cells and tissues was established at Charité. At the end of the 1930s viruses were made visible for the first time: Helmut Ruska, assistant physician at the I. Medical Clinic of Charité, took the first photographs of virus particles using an early electron microscope developed by his brother Ernst Ruska and brother-in-law Bodo von Borries at Siemens und Halske AG in Berlin.

The institute's building is named after Helmut Ruska to preserve the memory of his achievement. An independent Institute of Medical Virology was founded at the "Medical Faculty (Charité)" of Humboldt University as early as 1958, making our institute the oldest among Institutes of Virology at German academic medical centers.