At Erasmus MC he ran the >40 persons virology diagnostic lab and the > 100 persons virology research lab. His research programme followed a novel integrated “viroscience” concept, bringing together world leading scientists in molecular virology, immunology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and intervention studies on human and animal virus infections.
Major performances include the discovery of more than 30 new viruses of humans and animals (e.g. human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, influenza viruses), elucidation of the pathogenesis of major human and animal virus infections, and development of novel intervention strategies. This has enabled health authorities like WHO, to effectively combat disease outbreaks like SARS and avian influenza. The spin-off, Viroclinics Biosciences BV, is another societally relevant success, allowing effective testing and refining of diagnostic tools and other intervention strategies.
Awards, prizes, guest lecture invitations, (co-)organisership of international meetings and editorships of scientific journals further highlight his international recognition. He has acted as PhD mentor for more than 60 students, holds several key patents and is the author of more than 1000 papers in peer-reviewed journals, together cited more than 50,000 times, and his H index is more than 90. Most of all, Ab Osterhaus firmly believes scientists have a role to play in translating their knowledge for the benefit and protection of society.