Kliniken & Institute … Institute Zentrum für… Section Clinical… Über uns Staff Thomas Jaenisch

Thomas Jaenisch, MD PhD

Dr. Thomas Jaenisch, MD PhD is a medical doctor and clinical scientist with a research focus on arboviruses (Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya) and infectious disease epidemiology as well as clinical epidemiology. He has obtained a PhD in International Health (Johns Hopkins University) and is board certified in Medical Microbiology, virology, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology, as well as in Tropical Medicine.

Thomas Jaenisch supervises the medical parasitology laboratory at Heidelberg University Hospital where parasitic neglected tropical diseases are diagnosed.

Together with the team at the Section of Tropical Medicine, Thomas Jaenisch has coordinated in direct sequence two EC-funded multi-center dengue consortia ("Towards sustainable Dengue Control" - DENCO, 2005-2009; "International Research Consortium on Dengue Risk Assessment, Management and Surveillance" - IDAMS, 2011-2016). He is now leading two work packages ("Clinical science"; "Data sharing and harmonization") in a large EC-funded Zika consortium ("ZIKAlliance", 2016-2019, H2020), where he coordinates multi-center birth cohorts in pregnant women and children in more than 10 sites across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Thomas was involved in the harmonization of instuments for Zika virus research, especially with regard to standardized protocols, which were made available through WHO/PAHO (http://origin.who.int/reproductivehealth/zika/zika-virus-research-agenda/en/).

Thomas Jaenisch obtained his MD from JW-Goethe University, Frankfurt, in 1998, where he also obtained a Magister Artium in Philosophy with a master theses on "The concept of nature in the debate about the exological crisis". He is member of several advisory groups, including the WHO advisory group on Dengue burden estimation, the WHO expert panel for the review of the causality framework between Zika virus infection and neurological disorders, and the GLOPID-R Chikungunya expert group. In 2017, he chaired the WHO-organized Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis (IPD-MA) meeting for Zika cohort studies and is part of the governance of the IPD-MA consortium (see also the podcast on ethics and data sharing: http://terrance.who.int/mediacentre/podcasts/WHO-POD_Zika_Evidence_In_Action_episode3_13APR2017.mp3?ua=1.




Curriculum Vitae


Positions Held

2009 -present

Senior Scientist and Medical Doctor, Section Clinical Tropical Medicine (50% FTE), and Parasitology Unit (50% FTE), Department for Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg Universtiy Hospital

2005 - 2009

Senior Scientist, Section Clinical Tropical Medicine, Department for Infectious Diseases (50% FTE), and Section Epidemiology / Biostatistics, Institute for Public Health (50% FTE), Heidelberg University Hospital

2003 - 2005

Medical Doctor, Zinc-Substitution Trial, Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania (in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Public Health Laboratory Pemba)

2000 - 2001

Consultancies for the GIZ, Reproductive Health Project, Tanga, Tanzania

1998 - 2000

Medical Doctor, Section Clinical Tropical Medicine, Department for Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University Hospital




Board Certification in Tropical Medicine

2014 Board Certification in Microbioloty, Virology, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology
2008 PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA (Global Disease Epidemiology and Control, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health)
2000 Medical Board Examination, State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany


Medical Dissertation (Dr. med.) at the Institute of Medical Virology of the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Additional Professional Activities

2017 -present

Member of the GLOPID-R Chikungunya expert group
2016 -present Co-chair of the WHO Zika cohort IPD-MA consortium
2016 Member of the WHO Expert Panel for the review of the causality framework between Zika virus infection and neurological disorders
2014 -present Member of the WHO Advisory Group on Dengue Burden Estimation

2014 -present

Medical Dissertation (Dr. med.) at the Institute of Medical Virology of the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany



Currently Funded Research Projects


1.  A Global Alliance for Zika Virus Control and Prevention “ZIKAlliance”



Funding Institution: European Commission (EC HORIZON 2020)
Funding Volume:~10 Mill. €
Partner Share:832,400 without overheads (plus 25% OH)
Partner Institutions:53 partners in Europe, Latin America, Caribbean, Asia, and Africa


Role: Work Package Leader und PI for two Work Packages:a) “Clinical Science”, b) “Harmonization of data and a roadmap towards data sharing” (the latter one cross-cutting between three EC-funded Zika Consortia)




2.  Clinical and Molecular Investigation of Zika Virus Pathogenesis "ZIKAPath"



Funding Institution: Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (DZIF)
Funding Volume:~1 Mill. €
Partner Share:105,000 €
Partner Institutions:

Seven academic partners in Germany
(Coordinator: Prof. Felix Drexler, Virology, Charité Berlin)


Role: Work Package Leader and PI




3.  International Research Consortium on Dengue Risk Assessment, Management
     and Surveillance "IDAMS"



Funding Institution: European Commission (EC HEALTH 7th FP)
Funding Volume:6 Mill. €  for 17 partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Partner Share:750,385 (without overheads)
Partner Institutions:Academic partners (e.g. Oxford University, FIOCRUZ) and international institutions like the Red Cross Climate Centre or WHO-TDR


Role: Overall coordinator, PI of the clinical epidemiological Work Package



Selected Publications

1.    Faria NR, Quick J, Morales,I, Thézé J, Jesus JG, Giovanetti M, Kraemer MU, Hill SC, Black A, da Costa AC, Franco L, Patroca S, Wu CH, Ragwhani J, Cauchemez S, du Plessis L, Verotti M, de Oliveira WK, Carmo EH, Coelho GE, Santelli A S, Vinhal LC, Simpson JT, Loose M, Andersen KG, Grubaugh ND, Somasekar S, Chiu CY, Lewis-Ximenez L, Baylis S, Chieppe AO, Aguiar SF, Fernandes CA, Lemos PS, Nascimento B, Monteiro HAO, Siqueira IC, de Queiroz MG, de Souza TR, Bezerra JF, Lemos MR, Pereira GF, Loudal D, Moura LC, Dhalia R, França RF, Magalhães T, Marques ET, Jaenisch T, Ayres C, Wallau GL, de Lima MC, Nascimento V de Cerqueira EM, de Lima MM, Mascarenhas DL, Moura Neto JP, Levin AS, Tozetto-Mendoza TR, Fonseca SN, Correa CM, Milagres P, Segurado A, Holmes EC, Rambaut A, Bedford T, Nunes MRT, Sabino EC, Alcântara LCJ, Loman N, Pybus OG. Epidemic origins and evolutionary genomics of Zika virus in Brazil. Nature 2017, 546(7658):406-410. doi: 10.1038/nature22401 (IF 2015/16 38.138)

2.    Chotiwan N, Brewster CD, Magalhaes T, Weger-Lucarelli J, Duggal NK, Rückert C, Nguyen C, Garcia Luna SM, Fauver JR, Andre B, Gray M, Black IV WC, C. Kading RC, Ebel GD, Kuan G, Balmaseda A, Jaenisch T, Marques ETA, Brault AC, Harris E, Foy BD, Quackenbush SL, Perera R, Rovnak J. Rapid and specific detection of Asian and  African-Lineage Zika viruses. Science Translational Medicine 2017, 9, eaag0538 (IF 2015/16 16.264)

3.   Jaenisch T, Rosenberger KD, Brito C, Brady OJ, Brasil P, Marques ET. Estimating the risk for microcephaly after Zika virus infection in Brazil. Bull World Health Organ, 2017 Mar;95(3):191-198- doi. 10.2471/BLT16.178608 (IF 2015/16 5.459)

4.   Messina JP, Kraemer MUG, Brady OJ, Pigott DM, Shearer FM, Weiss DJ, Golding N, Ruktanonchai CW, Gething PW, Cohn E, Brownstein JS, Khan K, Andrew AJ, Jaenisch T, Murray CJL, Scott TW, Hay SI: Mapping global environmental suitability for Zika virus. eLife 2016;10.7554/elife.15272.doi:10.7554/elife:15272. (IF 2015/16: 8.303)

5.   Brasil P, Calvet GA, Siqueira AM, Wakimoto M, de Sequeira PC, Nobre A, de Souza Borges Quintana M, de Mendonça MCM, Lupi O, de Souza RV, Romero C, Zogbi H, da Siveira Bressan C, Alves CS, de Oliveira RL, Nogueira RMR, Carvalho MS, Bispo de Filippis AM, Jaenisch T. Zika Virus Outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Clinical Characterization, Epidemiological and Virological Aspects. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2016, 10(4):e0004636. doi:10.137/journal.pntd.0004636.

6.   Deen J, Weber MW, Jaenisch T. Dengue in the Context of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. PLoS Negl. Trop Dis 2016, 10(8):e0004838.

7.   Rosenberger KD, Lum L, Alexander N, Junghanss T, Wills B, Jaenisch T, and the DENCO Clinical Study Group: Vascular leakage in dengue – clinical spectrum and influence of parenteral fluid therapy. Tropical Medicine and International Health 2016, 21(3), 445-53; doi: 10.1111/tmi.12666.

8.   Eckerle I, Kapaun A, Junghanss T, Schnitzler P, Drosten C, Jänisch T. Dengue virus serotype 3 infection in a traveller returning from Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2015, 21(1): 175-177. doi: 10.3201/eid2101.141145

9.   Jänisch T, Junghanss T, Wills B, Brady OJ, Eckerle I, Farlow A, Hay SI, McCall PJ, Messina JP, Ofula V, Sall AA, Sakuntabhai A, Velayudhan R, Wint GRW, Zeller H, Margolis HS, Sankoh O, and the Dengue in Africa Study Group. Dengue Expansion in Africa - Not Recognized or not Happening? Emerging Infectious Diseases 2014, 20(10): e140487.

10.  Bhatt S, Gething PW, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Farlow AW, Moyes CL, Drake JM, Brownstein JS, Hoen AG, Sankoh O, Myers MF, George DB, Jaenisch T, Wint GRW, Simmons CP, Scott TW, Farrar JJ, Hay SI. The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature 2013, 596(7446): 405-7. doi: 10.1038/nature12060.