The World Society for Virology has been informed about the death of Dr. Christina Paulus, a virologist working at the University of St. Andrews. Christina died suddenly at her home in Scotland after a short period of illness. She was 51 years old.
Christina was born as one of two siblings into a working-class family based in the Bavarian mountains. After graduation, she joined an HIV research group at the University of Regensburg to complete her Ph.D. with ‘summa cum laude’. A prestigious Emmy Noether fellowship awarded by the German Research Council (DFG) brought her to Princeton University to study herpesviruses as a postdoc. In 2014, she joined the School of Biology at the University of St. Andrews, together with her partner Dr. Michael Nevels. Their joint research has focused on understanding and targeting the human cytomegalovirus, a major cause of damage and disease in unborn children and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Christina was an enthusiastic, dedicated, and well-respected molecular virologist who lived for her work in the lab. Her scientific knowledge, technical skills and attention to details were exemplary. She expertly trained and co-supervised numerous students and staff, including more than 20 postgraduate students, postdocs, and technicians, during her career in the US, Germany and UK. Her research findings have made it into dozens of papers published in highly respected journals and have had an enduring impact on vaccine design as well as antiviral concepts. Her work was supported by major funding bodies, such as the DFG, European Union, Medical Research Council, and Wellcome Trust. She leaves behind a brother, Manfred, her partner Michael, and many friends across the world, including members of the Nevels lab and the WSV.
There are no words for something as heart breaking as this, and our thoughts are with Michael and many others who are mourning the loss of s special human being and accomplished scientist.