ESR13 - Identification of novel immune modulatory mechanisms of human cytomegalovirus

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany; Supervisor: Melanie Brinkmann


  • Identification of novel HCMV-encoded proteins that negatively modulate the antiviral type I IFN response downstream of pattern recognition receptors
  • Detailed characterisation of the mechanism of action of the identified viral protein(s)

Expected achievements

  • Set up of a large-scale screen to identify HCMV-encoded proteins that have a negative effect on the type I interferon response downstream of pattern recognition receptors
  • Construction of different expression constructs of the identified viral protein(s) to analyse subcellular localisation and identify cellular interacting partners
  • Generation of HCMV mutants lacking the identified viral protein(s) by BAC mutagenesis
  • Characterisation of these deletion mutant(s) in vitro
  • Identification of cellular targets in the context of infection
  • Cell biological and biochemical characterisation of the cellular target and its viral counteracting partner

Planned Secondments

  • Jena Bioscience, Jena, Germany
  • Max Planck Institute Munich, Germany; Mass spectrometry


  • Solid background/expertise in cell biology, molecular biology, virology, and immunology
  • Experience with biochemical methods and cloning, ideally in imaging
  • Ability to manage large experimental setups
  • Ability to work in a team

Appointment details

Based on a full-time appointment, the duration of the appointment as a Marie Curie ITN fellow will be for a maximum period of 3 years. The PhD student will become member of the Graduate School of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig and is expected to present her/his work at the annually PhD Retreat and to follow the mandatory training program of the Graduate School.



Contact details

Melanie M. Brinkmann, Professor

Viral Immune Modulation Research Group

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

Inhoffenstrasse 7

38124 Braunschweig


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