Faculty Members

Dr. Klaus Gutfreund

Associate Professor

Department of Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Personal Statement:

I was very fortunate to see tremendous advancements in the understanding and treatment of many liver diseases; from first clinical trials with interferon for then Non-A Non-B hepatitis and development of first-generation nucleoside analogues for hepatitis B while I was a trainee, to now being able to provide most effective therapies aiming at a cure for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Contributing to research, advancement of clinical care and training of next-generation specialist have been most gratifying aspects of my professional career.   

Dr. Klaus Gutfreund received his undergraduate training in Medicine at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany in 1984. Following completion of his medical thesis in 1985, he then undertook training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University Hospital in Mainz, and the University of Alberta after moving to Canada in 1991. Following completion of his gastroenterology fellowship in 1997, he then undertook a Medical Research Council of Canada-endorsed Hepatology Research Fellowship at the University of Alberta, where he then joined the Faculty of Medicine in 1998. 

Leadership and Collaborations:

Dr. Gutfreund is a member of the Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Research Group, the Alberta Transplant Institute and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta.


Dr. Gutfreund provides clinical supervision and training to medical students, residents training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, and advanced Hepatology Fellows, and he contributed to the supervision of summer students and research trainees. 


Studying mechanisms of drug-resistance to lamivudine, the first licensed nucleoside analogue for the treatment of hepatitis B during his research fellowship, his research then focused on development of therapeutic vaccines for chronic hepatitis B and novel protective vaccine design. This included preclinical studies of prototype therapeutic vaccines with an industry partner, and studies in the duck hepatitis B infection model relevant to the development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. His work on therapeutic and protective vaccine development has received external funding support through NSERC, CIHR and the Canadian Liver Foundation.

Research Keywords

antiviral resistance and immunity, avian influenza vaccine, duck hepatitis B infection model, Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, immunotherapy, Liver transplantation, Wilson’s disease