Das Bild zeigt rechts ein Trichterglas mit blauer Flüssigkeit und Glasstab zum Umrühren. Daneben steht ein Reagenzglasständer mit Reagenzgläsern, die ebenfalls blaue Flüssigkeit enthalten. Im Hintergrund ist ein Forscher zu sehen, der in der rechten Hand eine Pipette hält.

AG Müller

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AG Müller

Our research is dedicated to emerging zoonotic viruses (mainly corona- and lyssaviruses) and their interactions with variable hosts. We use cell culture models to investigate mechanisms that determine the capability of viruses to switch hosts with a focus on the species-specific intracellular defence mechanisms (e.g. the interferon response).


PhD students

  • MSc Jan Papies
  • MSc Andrea Sieberg
  • MSc Simon Schroeder




  • Dr. Daniela Niemeyer
  • Dr. Benjamin Meyer
  • Dr. Susanne Biesold
  • PhD Tasnim Suliman
  • Dipl.-Biol. Daniel Ritz
  • MD BSc Robert Wollny
  • MSc Hanna Roth
  • MSc Schwiedhard Hoffstall
  • MSc Eva-Maria Klein


We want to elucidate differences in the innate immune system of variable vertebrate hosts. In particular, we are interested in the influence of the host-specific defence mechanisms on the capability of viruses to switch hosts.

We use cell culture models from multiple vertebrate species and reverse genetic systems for coronaviruses (MERS and SARS-Coronavirus) to characterize and compare functions of distinct viral proteins in different host settings.

Our long-term goal is to identify crucial virus- and host-related factors that influence virulence, pathogenicity and transmissibility of viruses. By establishing a reporter cell-based screening platform we want to enable a high-throughput in-vitro risk assessment of yet uncharacterized viruses.

Methods we perform in the lab: Generation of primary and immortalized cell cultures, generation of reporter cell lines by CRISPR/Cas9, luciferase promoter assays, variety of transcriptome/ proteome analyses (e.g. real-time PCR, Interferon bioassays, ELISA, Immunofluorescence assays, Immunoprecipitations, FACS, SDS-PAGE and Western blotting).

External collaborators

  • Prof. Andreas Pichlmair, MPI for Biochemistry, Munich
  • Prof. Friedemann Weber, University of Gießen
  • Prof. Georg Kochs, University of Freiburg
  • Prof. Alexander Pfeifer, University of Bonn
  • Prof. Volker Thiel, Dr. Ronald Dijkman, Bern, Switzerland
  • Prof. Stefan Pöhlmann, Dr. Markus Hoffmann, DPZ, Göttingen
  • Prof. Susan Baker, Loyola University, Chicago, USA

Significant publications