Appointment of Margarete Focke-Tejkl and Alexander Kirschner as Associate Professor
Focke-Tejkl, Margarete, Assoc. Prof. Univ.-Doz. Mag. Dr.
Margarete Focke-Tejkl studied Biochemistry at the University of Vienna. Her diploma and doctoral thesis were done at the Institute of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Vienna in the group of Dietrich Kraft and Otto Scheiner After the maternity leave she worked as research assistant at the Dermatologic and Paediatric Allergy Clinic FAZ, (Floridsdorfer Allergie Zentrum, A-1210 Vienna). In the year 1998 she returned as Half time research assistant to the group of Rudolf Valenta at Department of Pathophysiology. Winning the Herta Firnberg Award (FWF) she gained the “Venia docendi” at the Medical University of Vienna. Now she is leader of the working group for “Immunochemistry” at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergyresaerch. Margarete Focke-Tejkl is the author of a number of publications showing her research interests on purification and biochemical characterization of allergens involving proteomics and synthetic peptide chemistry. She has been working recently in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for allergy research on the development of recombinant hypoallergenic allergen-derivatives for immunotherapy especially on development of allergy vaccines which are based on non-allergenic carrier-bound, allergen derived peptides. Using this technology she has advanced a vaccine based on carrier-bound grass pollen allergen peptides successfully into clinical evaluation (Clinical trials.gov identifier NCT01350635, NCT01445002).
Kirschner, Alexander, Univ.-Lektor Assoc. Prof. Mag. Dr.
1987-1993 Studies of Biology at the University of Vienna, with focus on Microbial Ecology, 1994-1998 PhD thesis on the degradation of plant material by bacteria, 1999-2006 PostDoc at the University of Veterinary Medicine (Institute for Hygiene, Microbiology and Mycology, Prof. Renate Rosengarten) and at the University of Vienna/Medical University of Vienna (Institute for Medical Biology; Ao . Univ. Prof. Branko Velimirov); main research focus: Environmental Sources causing Avian Botulism, Bacterial growth rates and biomass in the environment, Ecology of faecal indicator bacteria, since 2007 Univ. assistant at the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology (Water Research Unit, Ao. Univ. Prof. Regina Sommer)
Ecology of pathogenic microorganisms, especially bacteria in water; development of cell based detection methods for pathogenic microorganisms in water, microbial ecology of drinking water Scientific Activities Water associated diseases still rank among the top 5 health risks worldwide. At the unit of Water Hygiene, we deal with the quality of drinking water and drinking water resources, with water in health care facilities and for medical applications, with bathing water and surface water as well as wastewater in relation to human health. The prevention of water associated diseases can only be successful when aquatic systems are viewed in a holistic and ecologic manner. To meet these requirements, the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health was founded recently, together with partners from the Vienna University of Technology (ICC Water & Health), based on a financial contribution of 1.2 Mio Euros by the Ministery of Science. The major research topics of the Ecology of Health Related Microorganisms group, headed by Alexander Kirschner are the ecology of pathogenic microorganisms - especially bacteria - in water, the development of new, cell based detection and quantification methods of pathogens and faecal indicators as well as all aspects of microbial ecology and microbial pollution of drinking water, water resources, surface waters and technical water systems with a focus on health care facilities. Moreover, we are performing risk assessment studies of waterborne pathogens (Vibrio, Legionella) that include the interaction with animal and human hosts.
2013-2015: Microbial faecal pollution patterns along large rivers; FWF-project P25817B22
2013-2017: AQUAVALENS - Protecting the health of Europeans against contaminated drinking water through increased understanding and accurate testing for waterborne pathogens; WP 7; EU-FP7-project
2012-2015: Health relevance of viable-but-non-culturable legionellae; FWF-project P24535B22
2010-2018: Groundwater Resource Systems Vienna, Module 5; Vienna Waters 2009-2014: Ecology, diversity and potential pathogenicity of Vibrio cholerae; FWF-project P21625B20
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Stevenson M.E., A.P. Blaschke, S. Schauer, M. Zessner, R. Sommer, A.H. Farnleitner and A.K.T. Kirschner (2013). Enumerating Microorganism Surrogates for Groundwater Transport Studies Using Solid-Phase Cytometry. Water, Air and Soil Pollution (in press)
Kirschner, A.K.T., M. Atteneder, A. Schmidhuber, S. Knetsch, A.H. Farnleitner, R. Sommer (2012): Holy springs and holy water: underestimated sources of illness? Journal of Water & Health 10.3: 349-357
Schauer, S., R. Sommer, A.H. Farnleitner and A.K.T. Kirschner (2012) Rapid and Sensitive Quantification of Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio mimicus Cells in Water Samples by Use of Catalyzed Reporter Deposition Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Combined with Solid-Phase Cytometry. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (78) 20: 7369-7375
Kirschner, A.K.T., A. Rameder, B. Schrammel, A. Indra, A.H. Farnleitner and R. Sommer (2012) Development of a new CARD-FISH protocol for quantification of Legionella pneumophila and its application in two hospital cooling towers. J Appl Microbiol. 112:1244-1256
Kirschner, A. K. T., S. Schauer, B. Steinberger, I. Wilhartitz, C. J. Grim, A. Huq, R. R. Colwell, A. Herzig and R. Sommer (2011) Interaction of Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 with Copepods, Cladocerans and Competing Bacteria in the Large Alkaline Lake Neusiedler See, Austria. Microbial Ecology. 61: 496-506
Riepl, M., S. Schauer, S. Knetsch, E. Holzhammer, A. H. Farnleitner, R. Sommer and A. K. T. Kirschner (2011) Applicability of solid phase cytometry and epifluorescence microscopy for rapid assessment of the microbiological quality of dialysis water. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation. 26: 3640-3645