University of Heidelberg

Group leader


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Grimm (10/2007 - today)

Room 502a


Phone +49-6221-5451339

Email: dirk.grimm [at]

Curriculum Vitae

2017               Full professor for viral vector technologies, Heidelberg University Hospital

2007 - today   Leader of Research Group "Virus-host interactions", Heidelberg University Hospital, CellNetworks

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, University of Heidelberg, Germany

1994               Diploma (Biology), University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

1988 - 1994    Studies in Biology (Universities of Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg, Germany)

Honors and Awards

2017               Research Award by the German Duchenne Foundation 

2015               Outstanding New Investigator Award by American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT)

2007               3rd place among "Top 13 Medicine Stories 2006" by Discover Magazine

2007, 06, 04   Travel grants from American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT)

2006               Lecture at Presidential Symposium of ASGT meeting

1998               Graduation with "summa cum laude" (PhD with highest honors)

1995 - 1998    PhD student grant from Progen Biotechnik GmbH, Heidelberg


2002 - present

American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)

2013 - present

European Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ESGCT)

2010 - 2013

ASGCT "Oligonucleotide & RNAi Therapeutics Committee"

2011 - 2017

ASGCT "Education Committee"

2012 - present

Editorial board of "Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids"

2013 - present

Editorial board of "Molecular Therapy - Methods & Clinical Development"

Fields of Interest

  • Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors - Creation and use of synthetic AAV vectors for targeted in vivo gene delivery
  • RNA interference (RNAi) - Natural mechanisms and therapeutic/diagnostic applications in mammals and humans
  • Infectious diseases - HIV, Hepatitis viruses (HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV), Plasmodium (malaria)
  • induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) - Vector-based methods for iPSC generation ex vivo and in living organisms
  • Gene/genome engineering - Zinc finger nucleases, TALEns, CRISPR/Cas
  • non-coding RNAs - Role of miRNAs as intra- and extra-cellular regulators of physiology and pathogen infection


10 most important publications (click here or here for the complete list):

  • F. Bubeck, M. Hoffmann, Z. Harteveld, S. Aschenbrenner, A. Bietz, M. Waldhauer, K. Börner, J. Fakhiri, C. Schmelas, L. Dietz, D. Grimm, B. Correia, R. Eils, and D. Niopek. 2018. Engineered anti-CRISPR proteins for optogenetic control of CRISPR/Cas9. Nat. Methods, 15:924-7
  • E. Senís, L. Mosteiro, S. Wilkening, E. Wiedtke, A. Nowrouzi, S. Afzal, R. Fronza, H. Landerer, M. Abad, D. Niopek, M. Schmidt, M. Serrano, and D. Grimm. 2018. AAV vector-mediated in vivo reprogramming into pluripotency. Nat. Commun., 9:2651.
  • T. Michler, S. Grosse, S. Mockenhaupt, N. Röder, F. Stückler, B. Knapp, C. Ko, M. Heikenwälder, U. Protzer, and D. Grimm. 2016. Blocking sense strand activity improves potency, safety and specificity of anti-hepatitis B virus short hairpin RNA. EMBO Mol. Med., 8:1082-98.
  • S. Mockenhaupt, S. Grosse, D. Rupp, R. Bartenschlager, and D. Grimm. 2015. Alleviation of off-target effects from vector-encoded shRNA via co-delivered RNA decoys. PNAS, 112:E4007-16.
  • N. Schürmann, L. G. Trabuco, C. Bender, R. B. Russell, and D. Grimm. 2013. Molecular dissection of human Argonaute proteins using DNA family shuffling. Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol. 20:818-26.
  • K. Börner, D. Niopek, D. (...) H.-G. Kräusslich, and D. Grimm. 2013. Robust RNAi enhancement via human Argonaute-2 overexpression from plasmids, viral vectors and cell lines. Nucleic Acids Res. 41:e199.
  • D. Grimm, L. Wang, J.S. Lee, N. Schürmann, S. Gu, K. Börner, T.A. Storm, and M.A. Kay. 2010. Argonaute proteins are key determinants of RNAi efficacy, toxicity, and persistence in the adult mouse liver. J. Clin. Invest. 120:3106-19.
  • D. Grimm, J.S. Lee, L. Wang, T. Desai, B. Akache, T.A. Storm, and M.A. Kay. 2008. In vitro and in vivo gene therapy vector evolution via multispecies interbreeding and re-targeting of adeno-associated viruses. J. Virol. 82:5887-911.
  • D. Grimm, K.S. Streetz, C.L. Jopling, T.A. Storm, K. Pandey, C.R. Davis, P. Marion, F. Salazar, and M.A. Kay. 2006. Fatality in mice due to oversaturation of cellular microRNA/short hairpin RNA pathways. Nature 441:537-41.
  • D. Grimm, S. Zhou, H. Nakai, C.E. Thomas, T.A. Storm, S. Fuess, T. Matsushita, J. Allen, R. Surosky, M. Lochrie, L. Meuse, A. McClelland, P. Colosi, and M.A. Kay. 2003. Pre-clinical in vivo evaluation of pseudotyped adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for liver gene therapy. Blood 102:2412-9.
Contact: E-Mail (Last update: 18/01/2019)