Martin Beer was born in Erlangen and graduated in veterinary medicine in 1992 in Munich. In 1995, he received his PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich studying the T-cell immunity against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). In 2000, Martin Beer moved to the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) as head of the reference laboratory for bovine herpesvirus type 1 infections and continued his work on BVDV and other pestiviruses. Since 2004, he is head of the Institute of Diagnostic Virology at the FLI, working with transboundary animal diseases, zoonosis and emerging diseases like avian influenza virus, Schmallenberg virus or bornaviruses. A main research focus is modern diagnostic systems including next-generation sequencing technologies. In his ECV2019 plenary talk, entitled “Bornaviruses, a new zoonotic challenge”, he will provide new insights in the role of mammalian bornaviruses as a zoonotic viral disease.