Prof. Dr. Dirk Grimm

CellNetworks / BioQuant
Department of Infectious Diseases, Virology Heidelberg University
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone: +49 6221-54 51339
Fax:      +49 6221-54 51481


Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene transfer vectors, interactions of pathogens (viruses and parasites) with human host cells, RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms and role in viral and parasital disease, in vitro and in vivo RNAi screens for gene and miRNA annotation, gene/Genome Engineering Technologies including CRISPR, development of new AAV/RNAi/CRISPR-based clinical modalities to treat and prevent human infections, characterization of circulating miRNAs as novel biomarkers for infection, use of AAV/RNAi technologies to create and modify human induced pluripotent stem cells, therapeutic in vivo reprogramming of somatic cells in adult organisms.


Cluster of Excellence CellNetworks, Collaborative Research Center TRR179 (TP18; 2016-2019), German Center for Infection Research (DZIF, BMBF, 2016-2018), EU H2020 program (research consortia “MYOCURE” and “SMARTHaemoCare”, 2016-2019), Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership (HeiKa, 2017), FRONTIER Innovation fund of Heidelberg University (2017-2019), Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (2017), multiple industry collaborations (2015-2018); Currently supervising 5 doctoral theses (4 PhD an 1 MD).


2017 Research Award from Deutsche Duchenne-Stiftung
2015 Outstanding New Investigator Award by American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)
2014 Bonus from program “Spitzenpublikationen” (engl. Top publications) by Heidelberg University Hospital
2007 3rd place amongst ‘Top 13 Medicine Stories 2006’ in Discover magazine
2007/6/4 Travel grants from American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT)
2006 Plenary talk at Presidential Symposium of 2006 ASGT meeting
1998 Summa cum laude (PhD ‘with highest honor’)
1995-1998 PhD student grant from Progen Biotechnik GmbH, Heidelberg

2017–present Full Professor (W2), Department of Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University
2007–present Group leader “Virus-Host Interactions”, Heidelberg University, Germany
2006–2007 Research Associate, Stanford University, School of Medicine, CA, USA
2001–2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, School of Medicine, CA, USA
1999–2001 Postdoctoral Fellow, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
1998 PhD (Biology) with summa cum laude, Heidelberg University, Germany
1994 Diploma (Biology), University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
1988–1994  Study of Biology (Universities of Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg, Germany)

2012–present        Co-coordinator and co-speaker of CellNetworks EcTop5 “Non-coding RNAs as versatile regulators of cellular processes”

Senís E, Mockenhaupt S, Rupp D, Bauer T, Paramasivam N, Knapp B, Gronych J, Grosse S, Windisch M, Schmidt F, Theis F, Eils R, Lichter P, Schlesner M, Bartenschlager R, Grimm D (2017). TALEN/CRISPR-mediated engineering of a promoterless anti-viral RNAi hairpin into an endogenous miRNA locus. Nucleic Acids Res. 45:e3

Rezvani M, Espanol-Suner R, Malato Y, Dumont L, Grimm AA, Kienle E, Bindman J, Wiedtke E, Hsu BY, Naqvi SJ, Schwabe RF, Covera CU, Grimm D, Willenbring H (2016). In vivo reprogramming of myofibroblasts into hepatocytes as a therapeutic strategy for liver fibrosis. Cell Stem Cell. 18:809-816

Michler T, Grosse S, Mockenhaupt S, Röder N, Stückler F, Knapp B, Heikenwälder M, Protzer U, Grimm D (2016). Sense strand neutralisation improves potency, safety and specificity of anti-hepatitis B virus short hairpin RNA. EMBO Mol. Med. 8:1082-1098

Mockenhaupt S, Grosse S, Rupp D, Bartenschlager R, Grimm D (2015). Alleviation of off-target effects from vector-encoded shRNAs via co-delivered RNA decoys. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; 112: E4007-E4016

Hentzschel F, Hammerschmidt-Kamper C, Börner K, Heiss K, Knapp B, Kaderali L, Castoldi M, Bindmann JG, Willenbring H, Mueller A-K, Grimm D (2014). AAV8-mediated in vivo overexpression of miR-155 enhances the protective capacity of genetically attenuated malarial parasites. Mol. Ther. 22: 2130-2141

Schürmann N, Trabuco LG, Bender C, Russell RB, Grimm D (2013). Molecular dissection of human Argonaute proteins by DNA shuffling. Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol. 20:818-826

Beer S, Bellovin DI, Lee JS, Komatsubara K, Wang LS, Koh S, Börner K, Storm TA, Davis CR, Kay MA, Felsher DW, Grimm D (2010). Low-level shRNA cytotoxicity can contribute to MYC-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in mice. Mol Ther. 18:161-170

Grimm D, Wang L, Lee JS, Schürmann N, Gu S, Börner K, Storm TA, Kay MA (2010). Argonaute proteins are key determinants of RNAi efficacy, toxicity, and persistence in the adult mouse liver. J Clin Invest. 120:3106-3119

Grimm D, Lee JS, Wang L, Desai T, Akache B, Storm TA, Kay MA (2008). In vitro and in vivo gene therapy vector evolution via multispecies interbreeding and re-targeting of adeno-associated viruses. J Virol. 82:5887-5911

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