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M.D., Medical School, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Internship, Rudolf Virchow Hospital, Berlin
Postdoc. and specialized courses in bacteriology, virology and mycology, Pasteur Institute of Paris


I am a medical doctor and a professor emeritus of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectiology of Laval University Medical School. I work at Laval University since 1967, had a considerable teaching activity, and went into official retirement in 2001. I published 226 articles and book chapters and five books. The first book (1987, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL) was on bacteriophages and their classification. Three others are on virus diagrams (morphology, physiology, pathogenicity; CRC Press). The last one is fortunately nonvirological and entitled "The Spirits of Haitian Vodoun" (Educa Vision, Coconut Creek, FL, 2010). Most of my publications are on the morphology and classification of bacteriophages and electron microscopy. They include numerous review articles. Since 1971, I am a member of the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy (ICTV). I became ICTV vice-president and was over 15 years chairman of the ICTV Bacterial Virus Subcommittee. I am still a member of this organism, an ICTV life member, and an advisor to GenBank. I assembled the largest bacteriophage collection in existence (now held in Science Faculty of Laval University) and published recently on the Net a bacteriophage bibliography of 31,000 references. Since some 10 years, I am carrying out electron microscopical expertises for other laboratories and institutions for a fee. This funds my laboratory. I am also on the editorial board of two journals. Since nearly three years, I am a "citizen" of Marchand Pavilion. More personally: I was a long-distance runner (17 marathons), call myself a passionate of virology, and hate poor electron microscopists.


My doctoral thesis was on bacteriophages of Salmonella typhi. Subsequent early research was on enterobacteria and airborne microscopical fungi. Work on bacteriophages, first alternating with studies of hepatitis B virus, baculoviruses of insects, and serum lipids started in 1967. My principal working instrument is a Philips EM 300 electron microscope. Over the years, I examined bacteriophages of over 50 bacterial genera and described, among other, numerous phages of enterobacteria, bacilli, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Brucella, Clostridium, Listeria, Pseudomonas, Rhizobium, Staphylococcus, and Vibrio. This research and my activities as an expert made that I examined about 1,700 bacteriophages. I pretend to be the individual on this planet who has seen the most bacteriophages in the electron microscope.

I am deeply interested in virus taxonomy and most of my publications are more or less taxonomic in nature. I created the order Caudovirales, one of the four orders in virology, and redefined or created nine bacteriophage families. This classificatory activity continues in association with specialists of genomics and bioinformatics. Together, we defined some 30 subfamilies or genera in the Myoviridae and Podoviridae families of tailed bacteriophages. We will now revise the classification of the Siphoviridae. Since my official retirement 10 years ago, I published some 70 articles and became increasingly interested in genomics and the fundamentals and history of electron microscopy. I am now preparing an article on artifacts.

Recent publications

Ackermann H-W. 2012. Bacteriophage electron microscopy. Adv Virus Res 82, in print

Ackermann H-W. 2011. A bacteriophage bibliography for 1965-2012.

Kutter EM, Skutt-Kakaria K, Blasdel B, El-Shibiny A, Castano A, Bryan D, Kropinski AM, Villegas A, Ackermann H-W, Toribio AL, Pickard D, Anany A, Callaway T, Brabban AD. 2011. Characterization of a ViI-like phage specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7. Virol J 8, 430

Santos SB, Kropinski AM, Ceyssens P-J, Ackermann H-W, Villegas A, Lavigne R, Krylov VN, Carvalho C, Ferreira EC, Azeredo J. 2011. Genomic and proteomic characterization of the broad host range Salmonella phage PVP-SE1: creation of a new phage genus. J Virol 85, 11265-11273

Koko SA, Ackermann H-W, Taiwo MA, Omilabu SA. 2011. Nigerian phages: the first bacteriophages from Tropical Africa. African J Microbiol Res 5, 2207-2210

Ackermann H-W. 2011. The first phage electron micrographs. Bacteriophage 1, 225-227

Ackermann H-W, Krisch, HM, Comeau AM. 2011. Morphology and genome sequence of phage Φ1402: a dwarf myovirus of the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Bacteriophage 1, 138-142

Anany H, Lingohr EJ, Villegas A, Ackermann H-W, She Y-M, Griffiths MW, Kropinski AM. 2011. A Shigella boydii bacteriophage which resembles Salmonella phage ViI. Virol J 8, 242

Ackermann H-W. 2011. Phages of lactic acid bacteria: discovery and classification. Bacteriophages in Dairy Processing, eds A Quiberoni and JA Reinheimer. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY

Ackermann H-W. 2011. Bacteriophage taxonomy. Microbiol Australia 32, 90-94

Seed KD, Bodi KL, Kropinski AM, Ackermann H-W, Calderwood SB, Qadri F, Camilli A. 2011. Evidence of a dominant lineage of Vibrio cholerae-specific lytic bacteriophages shed by cholera patients over a 10-year period in Dhaka, Bangladesh. mBio 1 (2) e334-10

Kropinski AM, Lingohr EJ, Ackermann H-W. 2011. The genome sequence of enterobacterial phage 7-11, which possesses an unusually elongated head. Arch Virol 156, 149-151

Seal BS, Fouts DE, Simmons M, Garrish JK, Kuntz RL, Woolsey R, Schegg KM, Kropinski AM, Ackermann H-W, Siragusa RR. 2011. Clostridium perfringens bacteriophages ΦCP39 and ΦCP26F: genomic orgnization and proteomic analysis of the virions. Arch Virol 156, 25-35

Klumpp J, Lavigne R, Loessner MJ, Ackermann H-W. 2010. The SPO1-related bacteriophages. Arch Virol 155, 1547-1561

Quiberoni A, Moineau S, Rousseau GM, Reinheimer J, Ackermann H-W. 2010. Streptococcus thermophilus bacteriophages. Internat Dairy J 30, 657-664

Ackermann H-W, Heldal M. 2010. Electron microscopy of aquatic viruses. In: Manual of Aquatic Virus Ecology, eds CA Suttle, S Wilhelm, M Weinbauer. American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), Ch 18, 182-192. Waco, TX

Zhao Y, Wang K, Ackermann HW, Halden RU, Jiao N, Chen F. 2010. Searching for a "hidden" prophage in a marine bacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 76, 589-595

Eisenstark A, Rabsch W, Ackermann H-W. 2009. Morphology of Salmonella Typhimurium phages of the Lilleengen set. Can J Microbiol 55, 1403-1405

Lavigne R, Darius P, Summer EJ, Seto D, Mahadevan P, Nilsson AS, Ackermann H-W, Kropinski AM. 2009. Classification of Myoviridae bacteriophages using protein sequence similarity. BCM Microbiol 9, 224

Villegas A, She Y-M, Kropinski AM, Lingohr EJ, Mazzocco A, Ojha S, Waddell TE, Ackermann H-W, Moyles DM, Ahmed R, Johnson RP. 2009. The genome and proteome of a virulent Escherichia coli 0157:H7 bacteriophage closely resembling Salmonella phage Felix O1. Virol J 6, 41

Tiekotter KL, Ackermann H-W. 2009. High-quality virus images obtained by TEM and CCD technology. J Virol Meth 159, 87-92

Ackermann H-W. 2009. Phage classification and characterization. In Bacteriophages: Methods and Protocols, Vol. 1, eds AM Kropinski, M Clokie. Ser. Methods in Molecular Biology, 501, 127-140. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ

Ackermann H-W. 2009. Basic phage electron microscopy. In Bacteriophages: Methods and Protocols, Vol. 1, eds AM Kropinski, M Clokie. Ser. Methods in Molecular Biology, 501, 113-126. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ

See also
Lavigne R, Seto D, Mahadevan P, Ackermann H-W, Kropinski AM. 2008. Unifying classical and molecular taxonomic classification: analysis of the Podoviridae using BlastP-based tools. Res Microbiol 159, 406-414

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