cfaed Distinguished Lecture Series

Prof. D.H. Riesner , Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf

Viroids and Prions

27.02.2013 (Wednesday) , 12:00 - 13:00
TUD Barkhausen-Bau , Helmholtzstraße 18 , 01087 Dresden

Discoveries in basic research can be transferred into technological developments, if the results from research are on a level that fits economic requirements. Successes and failures are discussed. Research on infectious molecules is particularly attractive for a biophysicist because an isolated molecule shows the complete phenomenology of a classical virus. A viroid - discovered by T. Diener and H.L. Sänger - is a 300-400 nucleotides containing ribonucleic acid, and a prion is an aggregate of a 200 amino acids containing protein. The requirement to purify viroid RNA for biophysical studies led to the development of the Qiagen-technology; Qiagen (formerly Diagen) was founded 1985 as spin out from Düsseldorf University and became the largest (new) biotec-company in Europe. 

Professor Dr. Detlev Riesner has held the Chair of Biophysics at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf from 1980 to his retirement 2006. In 1990, he was also appointed to the position of Dean of the Science Faculty and 1996 Vice President of Research at the University of Düsseldorf. Since 2006 he is a member of board of trustees of the University. Prior to that, he was Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at the Darmstadt Institute of Technology and from 1975 to 1977 Lecturer of Biophysical Chemistry at Hannover Medical School. He has held guest professorships at the Institute of Microbiology, Academia Sinica, Beijing and the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his M.S. in Ohysics from Hannover Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of Braunschweig with Prof. Manfred Eigen, with post-graduate work at Princeton University. He is co-founder of Qiagen and other biotec-companies. He is member of supervisory-boards of Qiagen N.V., AC-Immune S.A., DIWA GmbH and DRK-Blutspendedienst West gGmbH. 

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