Volker Thiel has studied Biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. Already during his master thesis he started to work on coronaviruses at the Institute of Virology in Würzburg and has then completed his PhD in 1998. One of the major achievements is the establishment of reverse genetics system for various coronaviruses, including Human Coronavirus 229E, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 and he was the first to report a molecular clone for a human coronavirus. In 2003 he moved to the Kantonal Hospital in St. Gallen where he was leading a research group at the Institute of Immunobiology. He habilitated in Virology at the Vetsuisse Faculty in Zürich and moved 2014 to the University of Bern where he is Professor and chair in Virology at the Vetsuisse Faculty Bern and head of the division Virology at the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI).