Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2018
    W2 Professor of Virus Genetics, Institute of Genetics, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany

  • Since 2016
    Research Group Leader, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Braunschweig, Germany

  • 2012 – 2018
    W1 Professor of Virology, Institute of Virology, Hannover Medical School (MHH)

  • 2010 – 2016
    Leader of the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group "Viral Immune Modulation", HZI, Braunschweig

  • 2006 – 2010
    Postdoctoral fellow, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (Hidde L. Ploegh)

  • 2004 – 2005
    Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Virology, MHH

  • 2004
    Dr. rer. nat. (summa cum laude) University of Hannover, Germany

  • 2000 – 2004
    Undergraduate training, Institute of Virology, MHH

  • 1999
    Diploma in Biology, Humboldt University of Berlin

  • 1994 – 1999
    Studies of Biology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Humboldt University of Berlin

Selected publications

  • Gonzalez-Perez AC, Stempel M, Wyler E, Urban C, Piras A, Hennig T, Ganskih S, Wei Y, Heim A, Landthaler M, Pichlmair A, Dölken L, Munschauer M, Erhard F, Brinkmann MM. 2021. The zinc finger antiviral protein 1 ZAP restricts human cytomegalovirus and selectively binds and destabilises viral UL4/UL5 transcripts. mBio 12(3):e02683-20.

  • Fabits M, Gonçalves Magalhães V, Chan B, Girault V, Elbasani E, Rossetti E, Saeland E, Messerle M, Pichlmair A, Lisnić VJ, Brinkmann MM. 2020. The Cytomegalovirus Tegument Protein UL35 Antagonizes Pattern Recognition Receptor-Mediated Type I IFN Transcription. Microorganisms 8:790.

  • Günther T, Czech-Sioli M, Indenbirken D, Robitaille A, Tenhaken P, Exner M, Ottinger M, Fischer N, Grundhoff A, Brinkmann MM. 2020. SARS-CoV-2 outbreak investigation in a German meat processing plant. EMBO Mol Med 12:e13296.

  • Reimer E, Stempel M, Chan B, Bley H, Brinkmann MM. 2020. Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B is involved in efficient type I interferon secretion upon viral infection. J Cell Sci 134:jcs246421.

  • Stempel M, Chan B, Juranic Lisnic V, Krmpotic A, Hartung J, Paludan SR, Fullbrunn N, Lemmermann NA, Brinkmann MM. 2019. The herpesviral antagonist m152 reveals differential activation of STING-dependent IRF and NF-kappaB signaling and STING's dual role during MCMV infection. EMBO J 38:e100983.

  • Bussey KA, Murthy S, Reimer E, Chan B, Hatesuer B, Schughart K, Glaunsinger B, Adler H, Brinkmann MM. 2019. Endosomal Toll-Like Receptors 7 and 9 Cooperate in Detection of Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68 Infection. J Virol 93:e01173-18.

  • Bussey KA, Lau U, Schumann S, Gallo A, Osbelt L, Stempel M, Arnold C, Wissing J, Gad HH, Hartmann R, Brune W, Jansch L, Whitehouse A, Brinkmann MM. 2018. The interferon-stimulated gene product oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein enhances replication of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and interacts with the KSHV ORF20 protein. PLoS Pathog 14:e1006937.

  • Chan B, Goncalves Magalhaes V, Lemmermann NAW, Juranic Lisnic V, Stempel M, Bussey KA, Reimer E, Podlech J, Lienenklaus S, Reddehase MJ, Jonjic S, Brinkmann MM. 2017. The murine cytomegalovirus M35 protein antagonizes type I IFN induction downstream of pattern recognition receptors by targeting NF-kappaB mediated transcription. PLoS Pathog 13:e1006382.

  • Kim YM, Brinkmann MM, Paquet ME, Ploegh HL. 2008. UNC93B1 delivers nucleotide-sensing toll-like receptors to endolysosomes. Nature 452:234-238.

  • Brinkmann MM, Spooner E, Hoebe K, Beutler B, Ploegh HL, Kim YM. 2007. The interaction between the ER membrane protein UNC93B and TLR3, 7, and 9 is crucial for TLR signaling. J Cell Biol 177:265-275.

Complete list of publications

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Heinrich-Pette Institute Hamburg

  • Member of the Think Tank of the President of the Helmholtz Association

  • Elected advisory board member of the German Society of Virology

Media coverage

  • Multiple during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Science Communication


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  1. ‘The fourth wave may hit us harder than the last’

    What’s it like to be an expert on viruses during a deeply politicised pandemic? We spoke to one of Germany’s busiest pandemic pundits, Professor Melanie Brinkmann, about personal drive, hate mail, and her hopes for the future.

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