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Reinhard Kirnbauer
Dr. Reinhard KirnbauerLaboratory of Viral Oncology

Department of Dermatology
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0002-5588-4179
T +43 1 40400-77680, -77950

Further Information


Human papillomavirus 11; Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle

Research group(s)

Research interests

My main interest is on the development of prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, seroepidemiology, and basic aspects of papillomavirus infection. I am inventor of HPV16 virus-like particles (VLP) technology which is licensed to develop current HPV vaccines. In recognizing the need to expand the coverage of prophylactic HPV vaccines to cover all oncogenic types my lab is currently developing broadly protective HPV vaccines by combining L1 VLP with the conserved protective epitope of L2 defined by the RG-1 monoclonal antibody.  The RG1-VLP vaccine candidate is currently produced under cGMP by contract of NCI-PREVENT (USA) for a first-in-human phase I trial planned to start in 2023.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Baculovirus Expression system to generate (chimeric) Virus-like Particles as Candidate vaccines for the prevention of a broad spectrum of relevant papillomavirus types. Mouse challenge models to evaluate protective capacity of novel vaccine candidates. In vitro Pseudovirion-based Neutralization Assays. Genereration of monoclonal antibodies (collaboration with MFPL) to cross-neutralization epitopes of minor capsid protein L2 of HPV. A broad spectrum of biochemical, cell and molecular biological techniques, and electron microscopy are used.

Selected publications

  1. Schellenbacher, C. et al., 2019. Incorporation of RG1 epitope into HPV16L1-VLP does not compromise L1-specific immunity. Vaccine, 37(27), pp.3529–3534. Available at:
  2. Huber, B. et al., 2017. Chimeric L2-Based Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Vaccines Targeting Cutaneous Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) L. Banks, ed. PLOS ONE, 12(1), p.e0169533. Available at:
  3. Huber, B. et al., 2015. A Chimeric 18L1-45RG1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Cross-Protects against Oncogenic Alpha-7 Human Papillomavirus Types P. C. Angeletti, ed. PLOS ONE, 10(3), p.e0120152. Available at:
  4. Schellenbacher, C. et al., 2013. Efficacy of RG1-VLP Vaccination against Infections with Genital and Cutaneous Human Papillomaviruses. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 133(12), pp.2706–2713. Available at:
  5. Kirnbauer, R. et al., 1992. Papillomavirus L1 major capsid protein self-assembles into virus-like particles that are highly immunogenic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 89(24), pp.12180–12184. Available at: