Faculty: Stephan Menne

Dr. Menne is a Research Associate Professor at the Department of Microbiology & Immunology

  • Ph.D., Institute of Virology, University of Essen, Germany, 1997
  • At Georgetown Since 2010
  • The lab currently employs research staff only. Additional grant applications are in process to support Post Doctoral Fellows. Graduate Students are welcome to participate in laboratory rotations
  • Contact: (202) 687-2949; sm923@georgetown.edu

Dr. Stephan Menne recently received the GUMC, 2014, Outstanding Achievement in Research Award at the GUMC Convocation

Dr. Menne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. He was appointed as a Research Associate Professor in 2010. For that appointment, he was a Co-PI of an NIAID Contract on Hepatitis B Virus research. In 2013, he was appointed as an Associate Professor in the tenure track. He serves now as the sole PI on the NIAID contract.

During 2014 he was awarded an R01 in a multi-PI study on hepatitis B (NIH/NIAID 1 R01AI113267, 2014-2019). He is also a Co-PI on another R01, awarded in 2012 (NIH/NCI 1 R01CA166213, 2012-2017). 


Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major public health problem with approximately 400 million infected individuals and 1.2 million deaths per year worldwide. Chronic carriers of HBV are at high risk of developing chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; primary liver cancer). Although safe and effective prophylactic vaccines against HBV are available, antiviral drugs and/or immunotherapeutics for treatment of chronically infected patients are limited.

The woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) and its natural host, the Eastern woodchuck (Marmota monax), is a well-characterized mammalian model available for basic and translational research on chronic HBV infection and HCC. The woodchuck model has been useful in studies of the pathogenesis of transient/resolved and chronic HBV infections, and in the preclinical evaluation of efficacy and, importantly, safety of drug candidates for treatment of chronic HBV infection and associated liver disease sequelae.

The research in my laboratory is primarily funded by a NIH contract, entitled the “Woodchuck animal model for testing hepatitis B virus therapeutics”. This contract from NIAID/DMID affords the preclinical assessment of antiviral and other therapeutic strategies for the management of HBV infection, without incurring any costs for drug sponsors such as academic groups and pharmaceutical companies. My group is further focused on innate and adaptive immunity against WHV and HCC in woodchucks using a variety of assays. Host immune responses and virus-host interactions are investigated under two multi-PI R01 grants and additional contracts/research agreements with pharmaceutical companies in several research settings:

  • In the evaluation of new direct and indirect acting antivirals,
  • In the development of novel immune modulators for immunotherapy,
  • In studies of WHV pathogenesis and carcinogenesis in woodchucks.

The overall goal is to identify viral and host targets for the development of new or improved strategies for the treatment of chronic HBV infection and HCC by determining the role of immune responses leading to suppression of viral replication (induction of functional cure), delay of chronic liver disease progression, and prevention of HCC development. These activities have resulted in many publications in the scientific literature.

The lab currently employs research staff only. Graduate Students are welcome to participate in laboratory rotations (MICB-622; Techniques in Microbiology).

Literature (Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles)
  • Menne, S., D.B. Tumas, K.H. Liu, L. Thampi, D. AlDeghaither, B.H. Baldwin, C.A. Bellezza, P.J. Cote, J. Zheng, R. Halcolmb, A. Fosdick, S.P. Fletcher, S. Daffis, L. Li, P. Yue, G.H.I. Wolfgang, and B.C. Tennant. 2015. Sustained efficacy and seroconversion with the toll-like receptor 7 agonist GS-9620 in the woodchuck model of chronic hepatitis B. J. Hepatol. (in press).
  • Moreno-Cugnona, L., A. Esparza-Baquera, A. Larruskaina, K. García-Etxebarriaa, S. Menne, G. González-Aseguinolazac, and B.M. Jugoa. 2015. Characterization and genotyping of the DRB1 gene of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in the Marmota monax, animal model of hepatitis B. Mol. Immunol. 63:505-512.
  • Rodrigues, L., N. Freitas, B.V. Kallakury, S. Menne, and S.O. Gudima. 2015. Super-infection with woodchuck hepatitis virus strain WHVNY of livers chronically infected with strain WHV7. J. Virol. 89:384-405.
  • Freitas, N., K. Abe, C. Cunha, S. Menne, and S.O. Gudima. 2014. Support of the infectivity of hepatitis delta virus particles by the envelope proteins of different genotypes of hepatitis B virus. J. Virol. 88:6255-6267.
  • Freitas, N., C. Cunha, S. Menne, and S.O. Gudima. 2014. Envelope proteins derived from naturally integrated hepatitis B virus DNA support assembly and release of infectious hepatitis delta virus particles. J. Virol. 88:5742-5754.
  • Fletcher, S.P., D.J. Chin, D.T. Cheng, P. Ravindran, H. Bitter, L. Gruenbaum, P.J. Cote, H. Ma, K. Klumpp, and S. Menne. 2013. Identification of an intrahepatic transcriptional signature associated with self-limiting infection in the woodchuck model of hepatitis B. Hepatology. 57:13-22.
  • Studach, L.L., S. Menne, S. Cairo, M.A. Buendia, R.L. Hullinger, L. Lefracois, P. Merle, and O.M. Andrisani. 2012. A subset of Suz12/PRC2 target genes is activated during HBV replication and livercarcinogenesis associated with hepatitis B virus X protein. Hepatology. 56:1240-1251.
  • Fletcher, S.P., D.J. Chin, Y. Ji, L.A. Iniguez, B. Taillon, D. Swinney, P. Ravindran, D. Cheng, H. Bitter, U. Lopatin, H. Ma, J. Banchereau, K. Klumpp, and S. Menne. 2012. Transcriptomic analysis of the woodchuck model of chronic hepatitis B. Hepatology. 56:820-830.
  • Otano, I., L. Suarez, J. Dotor, M. Gonzalez-Aparicio, J. Crettaz, C. Olagüe, A. Vales, J.I. Riezu, E. Larrea, F. Borras, A. Benito, R. Hernandez-Alcoceba, S. Menne, J. Prieto, and G. González-Aseguinolaza. 2012. Modulation of regulatory T cell activity in combination with IL-12 increases hepatic tolerogenicity in woodchucks with chronic hepatitis B. Hepatology. 56:474-483.
  • Freitas, N., J. Salisse, C. Cunha, I. A. Tochkov, S. Menne, and S.O. Gudima. 2012. Hepatitis delta virus infects the cells of hepadnavirus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in woodchucks. Hepatology. 56:76-85.

Medline publications list