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Day of the Medical University of Vienna 2024

March 12, 2024

As the medical faculty of the University of Vienna, MedUni Vienna was a founding member of the Alma Mater Rudolphina in 1365 and was already a widely recognised authority on health issues in the Middle Ages. In the anniversary year 2024, the Day of the Medical University of Vienna on March 12 was the start of the celebrations to mark 20 years of MedUni Vienna.

Programme in Detail

Liturgical memorial service for Rudolf the Founder - together with the University of Vienna

9.00 am | St Stephen's Cathedral

The day of the Medical University of Vienna began with a liturgical ceremony in St Stephen's Cathedral. Rector Markus Müller and Sebastian Schütze, Rector of the University of Vienna, laid a wreath in the crypt of St Stephen's Cathedral at the grave of Rudolf IV, the founder of the University of Vienna.

Since 1369, an annual memorial mass for the university founder has been part of the academic festive programme of the University of Vienna, of which the faculty of Medicine, the predecessor of the Medical University of Vienna, was a founding member. The wreath-laying ceremony at the cenotaph of Rudolf IV has been taken place since the middle of the 20th century.

Live surgeries for students & Awards for excellent teaching and innovative development

09.30 am | Lecture Hall Center

The topic of this special course on the Day of the MedUni Vienna was neurosurgery, with two aneurysm operations (clipping and coiling) being broadcast live into the lecture hall and explained by the experts. There was also an opportunity to ask questions to the surgical team directly.

Also, MedUni Vienna's awards for excellent teaching and innovative development were presented during the event. With this awards, the MedUni Vienna honours people who have made a special contribution to teaching by introducing new methods or outstanding teaching.

Commemoration at the Memorial for victims of the national socialism

12.30 pm | Memorial in front of the Rectorate building

March 12 marks not only the anniversary of the founding of the University, but also the anniversary of the devastating Anschluss of Austria to Germany in 1938. A commemoration ceremony in front of the Memorial for victims of the national socialism is a traditionl part of the programme on the Day of the Medical University of Vienna every year.

Rector Markus Müller, Martin Polaschek, Austria's minister of education, science and research and representatives of the Jewish Community and the Isreal embassy spoke at the commemorative event. Cantor Shmuel Barzilai will lead the memorial service.

Mercedes Prodromou talked about the "Lancet Commission on medicine, Nazism and the Holocaust", whose report on Nazi medical crimes was published in November 2023. The Commission focussed on the role of healthcare professionals and the public healthcare system during National Socialism. Its declared aim is to anchor knowledge about the crimes against humanity committed by healthcare personnel in the curricula of medical professions around the world.

Prodromou is a student of MedUni Vienna and part of the Commission's Student Advisory Council.

University Lecture & Anniversary Lecture

2.00 pm | Lecture Hall Center
University Lecture – Heyo K. Kroemer/Charité

"The Future of Medicine" was discussed by Heyo K. Kroemer, Chairman of the Board of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in the University Lecture on the Day of the Medical University of Vienna 2024.

Heyo K. Kroemer, born in Leer in Germany in 1960, studied pharmacy at the Technical University of Braunschweig. After study and research stays in Basel and Nashville, he habilitated in pharmacology and toxicology in Tübingen in 1992. From 2000 to 2012, he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Greifswald and, from 2011, also Scientific Director of Greifswald University Medicine. From 2012 to 2019, he was full-time Dean of the University Medical Centre Göttingen and President of the Medical Faculty Association. Kroemer is also a member of the Leopoldina, the board of the Association of German University Hospitals, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German Academy of Science and Engineering. Kroemer has represented Charité in all matters as Chairman of the Executive Board since 2019. He is responsible for corporate development and ensures the integration of the various corporate objectives and the balance of interests between clinical and scientific requirements.

Anniversary Lecture - Christoph Huber

Christoph Huber, member of MedUni Vienna's University Council and vaccination pioneer, gave the anniversary lecture on "The joys and sorrows of research transfer".

Christoph Huber is a haematologist, immunologist and oncologist and sits on numerous boards and committees. He established a stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy programme in Innsbruck and a leading international centre for immuno-oncology and stem cell transplantation in Mainz. In 2001, together with Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, he founded Ganymed, which develops monoclonal antibodies against tumour antigens; in 2008 he established BioNTech, which researches genetically modified defence cells, mRNA-encoded antibodies and mRNA vaccines, among others, and produced the first approved Covid-19 vaccine and in 2010 he set up the not-for-profit translational oncology institute TRON.

Alumni Club Lebenswege: Wolfgang Schütz

5.00 pm | Van Swieten Hall

Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt interviews Wolfgang Schütz

As part of the MedUni Vienna Alumni Club's "Lebenswege" Live Portraits series, personalities talk about their professional lives. In the anniversary year 2024, Wolfgang Schütz, the first Rector of the newly founded Medical University of Vienna in 2004, described his professional career and provided fascinating insights into the founding years of our university. Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt conducted the interview.

Wolfgang Schütz is Professor of Pharmacology and has headed the Institute of Pharmacology at the University of Vienna since 1995. In 1996, he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Vienna. He retained this position until 2004, when, in the course of the spin-off of the medical faculty, he led the newly created Medical University of Vienna to independence as Rector and played a key role in putting MedUni Vienna on its own feet.


MedUni Vienna Party: „The 2000s“

6.30 pm | University Clinic of Dentistry

MedUni Vienna invited all staff, students, graduates and friends to a big anniversary party under the motto "The 2000s" to mark the Day of the Medical University of Vienna. Hits from the past 20 years lured the guests onto the dance floor. Dress code: The noughties send their regards.