Sven on the Spotlight !

  At EVA we know Sven Reiche as the partner liaison (and a very responsive one !) of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI).  Sven is a virologist from Leipzig, Germany, where he grew up and studied. After a PhD studying the immunogenicity and interactions of the influenza virus nucleoprotein, using synthetic peptides, and his postdoctoral work at the Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine and at the Institute of Virology (Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig) (studying the chondrogenic potential of human dermal fibroblasts as well as the mechanisms of establishment, duration and quantification of human humoral memory), Sven took on the position of Laboratory head of the virus collection, at the FLI Biobank of cells and viruses (Greifswald - Insel Riems, Germany). He currently holds the position of Deputy Head of the Department of Experimental Animal Husbandry and Biosafety (ATB) and Deputy Biorisk Officer of the FLI. He is responsible for the production and supply of reference materials to reference laboratories and research institutions, worldwide, as well as for the development and establishment of suitable disinfection concepts and methods (Currently working on the use of Hepa-filters, the use of peroxide acid aerosol for laboratory and animal room disinfection, as well as disinfection protocols for aircrafts).

In parallel, Sven is involved in a number of committees related to pathogen classification and standards determination. As guest member in the DIN Standards Committee for Food and Agricultural Products (Working Committee Disinfectants Animal Husbandry/Food) (https://www.din.de/en/about-standards/din-standards), Sven has contributed to the compiling of multiple European and German standard DIN documents for testing disinfection efficacy. He participates in the DVV's Virus Disinfection Technical Committee since 2017, as member, and as co-chair since 2022. Since 2019, he has also been a member of the ABAS expert group for the Classification of Pathogens and the working group for the revision of the current safety classification of viruses in Germany.

Rapid fire questions! Some things you may not know about Sven…

What did you study?

Biology. I find the interplay and complexity of all biological mechanisms particularly fascinating.

What is your favourite virus?

As head of the FLI virus collection, with more than 450 different viruses, I have no favorite!

Something interesting you read recently (science or not)?

« Pergamon: Masterpieces of the ancient metropolis and 360° panorama by Yadegar Asisi » after I have visited the recommendable corresponding exibition in Berlin.

What brought you to your current role?

In 2004, I performed an obligatory internship in a human virology lab focusing on HIV research. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to do my diploma dissertation on SARS-CoV-1 in the same place and, later, my doctoral thesis focussing on influenza. After multiple different projects as post doc focussing on Dengue virus, Influenza virus, HIV and Hepatitis C, I applied for the permanent position as head of the virus collection of the FLI.  

What do you like in the institute and project you work in?

The diversity of my duties and the possibility to collaborate closely with such a large number of internal specialists. Currently, I lead two different research groups focussing on the production of viral and cell culture reference material, and on virus inactivation. In total, currently I supervise seven technical assistants, one doctoral student and six postdocs. At the beginning of next year, I will receive another permanent postdoc position to support the FLI contributions on risk group classification of virus for Germany.   

Text by Semeli Platsaki, PhD


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