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Prof. Dr.
Michael Nassal

Department of Medicine II
Phone: 0049-761-270-35070



  • 1980 PhD, Organic Chemistry; Amanita toxins & antitoxins
  • 1983-1986 EMBL Long-term Fellow, MIT, Cambridge MA, USA; Chemo-enzymatic gene synthesis
  • 1986-1997 Group leader at the Center for Molecular Biology Heidelberg; Molecular hepatitis B virology
  • 1992 Habilitation in Virology/Molecular Biology (Biological Faculty of the University of Heidelberg, Germany)
  • Since 1997 Professor (C3) of Medical Molecular Biology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg

Focus of research

  • Molecular Mechanisms of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication
  • Structure-function of the HBV capsid, exploitation as vaccine carrier
  • Virological basis of HBV persistence

Selected publications

  • Nassal M. HBV cccDNA: viral persistence reservoir and key obstacle for a cure of chronic hepatitis B. Gut. 2015; 64:1972-84.
  • Königer C, Wingert I, Marsmann M, Rösler C, Beck J, Nassal M. Involvement of the host DNA-repair enzyme TDP2 in formation of the covalently closed circular DNA persistence reservoir of hepatitis B viruses. PNAS. 2014; 111:E4244-53.
  • Beck J, Nassal M. A Tyr residue in the reverse transcriptase domain can mimic the protein-priming Tyr residue in the terminal protein domain of a hepadnavirus P protein. J Virol. 2011; 85:7742-53.
  • Kratz PA, Böttcher B, Nassal M. Native display of complete foreign protein domains on the surface of hepatitis B virus capsids. PNAS. 1999; 96:1915-20.
  • Nassal M, Junker-Niepmann M, Schaller H. Translational inactivation of RNA function: discrimination against a subset of genomic transcripts during HBV nucleocapsid assembly. Cell. 1990; 63:1357-63.