Hardly any other research field was more successful in translating basic research into novel diagnostic and therapeutic regimens: The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the immune system and its interaction with external (pathogenic microorganisms) and internal foes (cancer cells) is now employed to detect and treat much more efficiently and successfully immunological diseases and disorders (allergies, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, cancer), which are afflicting more than 30% of the total population. An example are therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that are currently used with high success for passive immunization against for instance rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia or breast cancer. It is considered that the implementation of these biological drugs would be seen as one of the greatest achievement of medicine in the 21. century, as it is true for active vaccination in the 20. century.
The Center employs approximately 250 coworkers and around 100 undergraduate students who perform master thesis or internships. More than 150 of the employees (60%) are paid by third-party money, which is derived mainly from highly competitive national (e.g. Austrian Science Fund, GEN-AU program of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy) and international (e.g. EU) granting agencies. The budget volume represents 13% of the total third-party money of the University. The responsibility for this success lies in the hands of the 32 principle investigators (PIs). Facing the international competition with their projects, the PIs together with their coworkers are elaborating nearly 10% of the total scientific output of the University. The staff of the Center has also the major responsibility in the preclinical education of the medical students in pathophysiology, infectiology and immunology. Besides research and education, the third focus of a center of a medical university is by nature in direct activities in the health sector. Specialized laboratories of the Center are developing and applying assays for diagnosis of allergological and immunological diseases, bacterial and parasitic infections as well as sterilization- and hygienic approaches. For more details please visit the homepages of the 4 Institutes of the Center (an easy link you find via the menu bar above).