Hildegund Ertl, MD

Co-Founder

Dr. Ertl is currently the Caspar Wistar Professor in Vaccine Research and Director of The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center. Her current research interests fall into six broad categories: HIV vaccines, human papilloma virus vaccines, rabies vaccine models, universal influenza vaccine, vaccines to Epstein-Barr virus, and immune response associated with gene therapy using adeno-associated viral vectors. The Ertl laboratory has pioneered numerous patented technologies to create new vaccines. Much of the laboratory’s efforts on developing a new preventative vaccine for rabies—a disease that retains a disastrous presence in places across the globe—have yielded useful technologies that the Ertl laboratory is applying to combating other viruses. This includes utilizing a modified chimpanzee virus as a vaccine carrier to induce an immune response against HIV, and a new therapeutic vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.  Dr. Ertl came to The Wistar Institute as an associate professor in 1987. A native of Euskirchen, Germany, she received her medical degree from University of Göttingen. While in medical school, she began her scientific training as a student in the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine. After research fellowships at the Australian National University and the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ertl joined the faculty of Harvard University before transitioning to Wistar. She became a full professor at Wistar in 1996, and holds professorships at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.