Hamburg/Berlin. In an independent scientific evaluation process, the Senate of the Leibniz Association has certified that the Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI) in Hamburg has conducted successful research on human pathogenic viruses, that its development is continuing dynamically, and that its reorientation and recruitment are strategically sound. The federal and state governments (Bund & Länder) are recommended to continue the joint funding of the HPI.
HPI was evaluated by an external review committee in November 2020; due to the pandemic in a digital replacement procedure. In the statement now published on July 1, 2021, the Senate of the Leibniz Association emphasizes that the HPI is very successful in its research on human pathogenic viruses. Since the last evaluation, the HPI has dynamically continued its positive development. Personnel changes have been used strategically by the institute for the realignment of work units and excellent scientists have been recruited as their heads.
The Senate positively emphasizes the close cooperation of the research departments, research groups and junior research groups as well as the technology platforms at the HPI. It contributes significantly to the very positively evaluated research achievements. The institute's work ranges from basic research to medical translation. A particularly remarkable success in this respect was the development of a completely new gene therapy approach in HIV therapy.
The Leibniz Senate welcomes the fact that further strengthening of translation into clinical practice is planned at the HPI for the next few years and that studies on viral zoonoses and emerging viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which are highly relevant to health policy, are to be expanded. In addition, the Senate supports the strong integration of bioinformatics methods, which are currently being intensively pursued not only at the institute but also within the framework of the Leibniz ScienceCampus InterACt together with the Universität Hamburg, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and other important partner institutions in the region.
The funding of the HPI as a Leibniz institution is to be continued. A renewed review of the funding requirements will take place after the regular seven-year period.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Dobner, Scientific Director of the HPI: "We are very pleased that we succeeded in achieving such an outstanding result in the evaluation process. Last year, we continued to massively expand our research, so that 2020 was also an extremely successful year overall, despite all the Corona measures. I am therefore certain that in the coming years, especially with the new focus areas, the institute will continue to achieve outstanding research achievements on human pathogenic viruses, whose control is of utmost importance for public health."
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