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Research group Andrea Maisner

The Maisner group studies the cell biology of Nipah viruses, highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses derived from fruit bats, which can cause fatal respiratory and CNS infections in animals and humans. Due to their zoonotic potential, broad host range, and high pathogenicity, the viruses are classified as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) pathogens. There are no vaccines or therapeutic options to date, so identification of potential targets for future development of antiviral strategies is urgently needed. This requires a deeper molecular understanding of how Nipah viruses replicate, how infectious particles are formed, and how viruses evade host defense mechanisms. To fill gaps in this basic knowledge, the Maisner lab is focusing on deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying productive Nipah virus infection in cells of different host species and identifying host cell and viral factors that could be potential targets for antiviral therapies.