Dr. rer. nat. Jochen Wettengel (TUM School of Medicine) received an award from the Bund der Freunde der TUM e.V. for his doctoral work that culminated in the thesis “Tropismus- und Spezies-determinierende Faktoren des Hepatitis-B-Virus” (Tropism- and species-determining factors of the hepatitis B virus).
In his thesis, Dr. Wettengel developed a new protocol for the generation of highly purified, infectious HBV particles to establish new infection models. By overexpressing essential human proteins he established new cell culture models and enabled an “across species barriers - HBV infection” of macaque and porcine hepatocytes. This work is the basis of the development of new and urgently needed, preclinical infection models, for the development of novel antiviral HBV therapies.
His supervisor, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Protzer, head of the Institute of Virology of the School of Medicine defined Dr. Wettengel’s approach as very creative. She also acknowledged his courage to face up complex challenges, his willingness to enter into interdisciplinary and international collaborations and his determination to drive them forward.
Currently, Dr. Wettengel is a postdoctoral researcher and resident physician at the Institute of Virology finishing his second doctorate in the program Translational Medicine at the TUM School of Medicine.