Ralf Bartenschlager is molecular biologist by training and interested in the complexities of the interactions between viruses and their host cells. His work centers on hepatitis viruses, notably hepatitis C and B virus (HCV and HBV, respectively) and comparative analyses with flaviviruses (Dengue and Zikavirus). One research direction in the Bartenschlager lab deals with the strategies used by HCV and HBV to establish persistence and how persistence can be overcome therapeutically. Another direction centers on the cell biology of the replication cycle of these viruses, how they exploit host cell factors and pathways for efficient replication and how this relates to virus – host evolution. Finally, knowledge gained from these studies is used to develop novel, ideally broad-spectrum antiviral strategies.