Viruses affect many areas in our life and are therefore studied from many different perspectives, including public health, pathology and evolution. Viruses are also potent tools to address specific questions in cell biology, immunology, and molecular biology. As viruses have evolved efficient strategies to carry genetic material into the host cell, they are also effective vehicles for applications in molecular medicine, such as vaccination and gene therapy. The focus of my laboratory is the analysis of the molecular mechanisms of virus replication and the use of this information for applying viruses in biomedical research. Specific projects in translational biomedical research include the development of genetic vaccines for rotavirus- and foot-and-mouth disease virus infections and a gene-/immuno-therapy approach to induce antigen-specific tolerance in autoimmune disease.