Dirk Grimm

Prof. Dr. Dirk Grimm

Professor for Viral Vector Technologies
Medical Faculty at University of Heidelberg


Curriculum vitae
  • 2017 –   Full professor for viral vector technologies, Heidelberg University Hospital
  • 2007 –   PI 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
  • 2020   Outstanding Achievement Award (Dutch Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, NVGCT)
  • 2017   Research Award (German Duchenne Foundation)
  • 2015   Outstanding New Investigator Award (American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, ASGCT)
  • 2010   Gold medal at iGEM (internationally genetically engineered machines) student contest
  • 2007   3rd place among “Top 13 Medicine Stories 2006” by Discover Magazine
  • 2007/6/4   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

Memberships & coordinating functions
  • 2020 –   German Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (DG-GT)
  • 2013 –   Editorial Board of “Molecular Therapy – Methods & Clinical Development”
  • 2013 –   European Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ESGCT)
  • 2012 –   Editorial Board of “Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids”
  • 2013 – 2017   Representative of junior group leaders in HMLS (Heidelberg Molecular LIfe Sciences) Research Council
  • 2012 – 2017   Co-coordinator and co-speaker of CellNetworks EcTop5 “Non-coding RNAs as versatile regulators of cellular processes”
  • 2011 – 2017   ASGCT “Education Committe”
  • 2010 – 2013   ASGCT “Oligonucleotide & RNAi Therapeutics Committee”
  • 2002 –   American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)

  • Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectorsCreation and use of synthetic AAV vectors for human gene therapy
  • RNA interference (RNAi) – Natural mechanisms and therapeutic/diagnostic applications in mammals and humans
  • Infectious diseases – HIV, Hepatitis viruses (HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV), SARS-CoV-2, Plasmodium
  • induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) – Vector-based methods for ex vivo and in vivo iPSC generation
  • Gene/genome engineering – Zinc finger nucleases, TALEns, CRISPR/Cas
  • non-coding RNAs – Role of miRNAs as regulators of physiology and pathogen infection


10 most important publications (lab members in bold; click here for the full 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.