Ulrich Kuch

Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit

Dr. Ulrich Kuch

Robert Berger, Dipl.-Biol.
Julia Betz, Dipl.-Biol.
Laura Bruhse, cand. med.
Friederike Bock, M.Sc.
Meghnath Dhimal, M.Sc.
Ahmad Ghiffari, M.D.
Patrick Höde, Dipl.-Biol.
Aljoscha Kreß, Dipl.-Biol.
Mandira Lamichhane, M.Sc.
Deb Pandey, M.Sc.
Arne Schulze, Dipl.-Biol.
Dewi Yuniasih, M.D., M.Sc.

The Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit of BiK-F is a partner of AFRIVEC.


Dr. Ulrich Kuch

Project Group Leader, Medical Biodiversity and Parasitology
Junior Group Leader, Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit

My main research interests focus on the positive and negative roles that biodiversity plays for health, the effects that global change has on health, and the nexus between these.

The research group I lead is an international team of highly motivated young biologists and medical doctors whose backgrounds range from ecology, genetics, medical entomology, parasitology and zoology to environmental health, epidemiology and public health.

We study organisms as different as mosquitoes, venomous animals and bats. Collectively, these groups are responsible for a vast proportion of the global burden of disease caused by animals. To better understand their organismal and molecular biodiversity, how it relates to health, and how these interactions are affected by global change, is crucial for improving health care, public health planning, and climate change adaptation. As a consequence, our projects extend from molecular and morphology-based taxonomy over eco-epidemiology and toxicology into clinical research.

The common denominators in our group are emerging and neglected tropical diseases and international cooperation. Emerging infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases disproportionally affect poor rural people in developing countries who are at the same time most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the same time pathogens and disease vectors from such regions (e.g., dengue virus, tiger mosquitoes) are of increasing concern in Europe. Bridging the technology and knowledge gap offers exceptional opportunities to learn from each other and to find innovative solutions for some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Professional Experience
Since 2012
   Speaker of the Coordinated PhD Programme “Biodiversity and Global Change Effects on Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases”
Since 2011   Junior Group Leader, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt
Since 2008   Principal Investigator and Project Group Leader, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt
2007 - 2008 Postdoctoral Scientist, Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt
2006             Research Associate, Medical Toxicology Centre, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
2000 - 2007 Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Goethe University Hospital

University Education
University teaching certificate, Goethe University Frankfurt
2007 Dr. phil. nat., Goethe University Frankfurt
2000 Dipl.-Biol. degree (M.Sc. by research equivalent), Goethe University Frankfurt

Current projects

B4.2: Vector-Borne Diseases in the Rhein-Main Area

B4.3: Tiger Mosquitoes: Invasion of Europe

B4.5: Venomous Snakes of Nepal

List of publications

Selected publications

Alirol E, Sharma SK, Bawaskar HS, Kuch U, Chappuis F, 2010. Snake bite in South Asia: a review. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4: e603

Castoe TA, Daza JM, Smith EN, Sasa M, Kuch U, Campbell JA, Chippindale PT, Parkinson CL, 2009. Comparative phylogeography of pitvipers suggests a consensus of ancient Middle American highland biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 36: 88-103

Faiz MA, Ghose A, Ahsan MF, Rahman MR, Amin R, Hassan M, Chowdhury MAW, Kuch U, Rocha T, Harris JB, Theakston RDG, Warrell DA, 2010. The greater black krait (Bungarus niger), a newly recognized cause of neuro-myotoxic snake bite envenoming in Bangladesh. Brain 133: 3181-3193

Harris JB, Faiz MA, Rahman MR, Jalil MA, Ahsan MF, Theakston RDG, Warrell DA, Kuch U, 2010. Snake bite in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh: a study of bitten patients who developed no signs of systemic envenoming. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 104: 320-327

Islam QT, Razzak MA, Islam MA, Bari MI, Basher A, Chowdhury FR, Sayeduzzaman ABM, Ahasan HAMN, Faiz MA, Arakawa O, Yotsu-Yamashita M, Kuch U, Mebs D, 2011. Puffer fish poisoning in Bangladesh: clinical and toxicological results from large outbreaks in 2008. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 105: 74-80

Kuch U, Keogh JS, Weigel J, Smith LA, Mebs D, 2005. Phylogeography of Australia's king brown snake (Pseudechis australis) reveals Pliocene divergence and Pleistocene dispersal of a top predator. Naturwissenschaften 92: 121-127

Phone: 069 7542 1818