Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter was born March 18, 1957 in Göppingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), studied biology and earned his doctorate in Tübingen. He has been working at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI; formerly Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals) since 1982, first in Tübingen, then on the Isle of Riems, interrupted in 1986/87 by an 18-month research fellowship in the USA (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN). From 1994 to 2019 he chaired the Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology on Insel Riems, and has been President of the FLI since 1996. He is a member of several scientific academies including the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, an extraordinary professorship from the University of Greifswald and an honorary professorship from the University of Rostock. Furthermore, he is a recipient of the Robert von Ostertag Medal of the German Federal Chamber of Veterinarians. His main field of research is virus infections of farm animals.