Professor Osterhaus is the newly appointed Director of Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses (RIZ) at University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Prior to this role he was the Head of the Department of Viroscience at Erasmus MC Rotterdam, and Professor of Wildlife Virology and Virus Discovery at Utrecht University. He has a long track record as a scientific researcher and Principal Investigator of numerous major scientific projects.
At Erasmus MC, Professor Osterhaus runs a diagnostic virology lab with more than 40 staff and a research virology lab with over 100 personnel. His research programme follows a novel integrated “viroscience” concept, bringing together world-leading scientists in molecular virology, immunology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and intervention studies on human and animal virus infections.
Among the major accomplishments are the discovery of more than 30 new viruses of humans and animals (e.g. human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, influenza viruses), elucidation of the pathogenesis of major human and animal virus infections, and development of novel intervention strategies. This has enabled health authorities like the WHO to effectively combat disease outbreaks like SARS and avian influenza. The spin-off, Viroclinics Biosciences BV, is another societally relevant success, allowing effective testing and refining of diagnostic tools and other intervention strategies.
The international recognition of Professor Osterhaus is further highlighted by awards, prizes, guest lecture invitations, (co-)organiserships of international meetings and editorships of scientific journals.
Professor Osterhaus has acted as PhD mentor for more than 60 students and holds several key patents. He is also the author of more than 1000 papers in peer-reviewed journals, together cited more than 50,000 times, and his H index is more than 90. Most of all, Professor Osterhaus firmly believes that scientists have a role to play in translating their knowledge for the benefit and protection of society.