Professor of Medical Microbiology (Virology), Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Regensburg
Ralf Wagner is Professor of Medical Microbiology (Virology) at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Regensburg. His team is involved in several aspects of vaccine research, preclinical and clinical development, with a major emphasis on HIV. Foremost, Ralf pioneered the utilization of recombinant virus-like particles as vaccines and established the utilization of RNA and codon-optimized genes as the gold standard in vaccine design and development.
Several vaccine candidates developed in his lab made it to the clinic, showed excellent safety profiles, and supported immune signatures that were also seen in long-term non-progressing individuals living with HIV. More recently, his lab got involved in the design and development of novel antibiotics, a new field of increasing importance, particularly in the developed world. He is chair, co-chair and board member of several national and international publicly funded vaccine clusters, such as the European Union, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH, German Ministry of Health and Education (BMBF) and Bavarian Research Foundation. Ralf is the inventor and co-inventor of several patents and patent applications and the author of numerous scientific peer-reviewed publications.
Ralf was founder (1999), CEO and Chief Scientific Officer (2000-2012) of GeneArt AG, a previously public biotech company (Deutsche Börse Frankfurt) and now part of Thermo Fisher Inc. During his leadership, GeneArt received the “Step Award” (2006) and the “European Biotech Award” (2008), among others. He was one of the first scientists to recognize the value of gene design and synthesis for different areas of biotechnology, such as metabolic engineering, vaccine design or the development of novel antibiotics, consequently translating basic research tools into scalable technologies and a quickly emerging business in the field of synthetic biology.