Molecular Microbiology (Virology)
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
University Regensburg

Ralf Wagner is Univ.-Prof. for 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 Wagner pioneered the utilization of recombinant virus like particles as vaccines and established the utilization of RNA and codon optimized genes as golden standard in vaccine design and development. Several vaccine candidates that were developed in his lab made it from the bench to the clinic, showed excellent safety profiles and supported immune signatures that were also seen in long-term non-progressing HIV infected individuals. More recently, his lab got also involved in the design and development of novel antibiotics, a new field of increasing importance in particular also in the developed world.

He is chair, co-chair and board member of several national and international publically funded vaccine clusters (e.g. EU, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH, BMBF, Bavarian Research Foundation). Prof. Wagner is inventor and co-inventor of several patents and patent applications and author of numerous scientific peer reviewed publications. Prof. Wagner further acts as reviewer e.g. for the German Research Association (DFG), the German Ministry of Health and Education (BMBF), the European Commission as well as various foundations and venture funds.

Besides his activities within the university Prof. Wagner was founder (1999), CEO and Chief Scientific Officer (2000 – 2012) of GENEART AG, a previously public (Deutsche Börse Frankfurt) biotech company and now part of Thermo Fisher Inc. During his leadership, GeneArt was awarded – amongst others – with the “Step Award” (2006) and the “European Biotech Award” (2008). He was amongst 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 thus consequently translating basic research tools into scalable technologies and a quickly emerging business in the field of Synthetic Biology.

Together with his company, he received various awards such as e.g. Germany’ Fast 50, Step Award, Deutscher Gründerpreis and the “European Biotech Award”. After the acquisition of a majority share by Life Technologies Inc., he successfully coordinated as GeneArt’s Site Leader and CEO the integration process and served within the US Corporation as Vice President Synthetic Biology. From Jan 2013 – April 2014 he supported Lophius GmbH, also a spin off from the Institute of Medical Microbiology (Regensburg), as interim CEO driving the development and marketing of novel T cell based diagnostics and research tools. Since Mai 2014, he is chairing Lophius’s supervisory board. Besides this, he is supervisory board member of Sirion Biotechnology AG in Martinsried Munich and business coach of several founding initiatives.