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New Health Minister Pamela Rendi-Wagner: MedUni Vienna graduate and scientist for many years takes over as Minister of Health

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Bild: Georg Hochmuth/APA/

(Vienna, 8 March 2017) Pamela Rendi-Wagner takes over from Sabine Oberhauser as the new designated Federal Minister of Health and Women. This was announced yesterday. Before transferring to be a section leader in the Ministry of Health, the MedUni Vienna graduate worked for many years as a scientist at the Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine at MedUni Vienna. She is an expert in vaccinology and infection epidemiology.

"I am delighted that, with the appointment of Pamela Rendi-Wagner, a trained health expert and renowned scientist is taking over this important political office and I extend my hearty congratulations to her on this career move," commented MedUni Vienna Rector Markus Müller on the appointment of Rendi-Wagner. "We can look forward to a stimulus for health policy and science. And it also shows that MedUni Vienna educates strong women for top positions."

Pamela Rendi-Wagner started her studies in human medicine at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna (now the Medical University of Vienna) in 1989 and graduated in 1996. She went on to complete her specialist training in specific prophylaxis and tropical hygiene at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK and at MedUni Vienna.  From 1998 onwards, she spent more than 10 years as a scientific assistant in the field of infection epidemiology, vaccine prevention and travel medicine at the Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine.

As project leader, Rendi-Wagner's achievements included setting up a network for nationwide epidemiological monitoring of major infectious diseases. As a result of her research, the recommended interval for tick protection vaccinations was extended from three to five years.

In 2008 she gained her postdoctoral qualification in prevention by vaccination. She then worked internationally as a scientist in the areas of infection epidemiology, vaccine prevention and travel medicine. Since 2008 she has been a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Under the leadership of Alois Stöger (SPÖ [Social Democratic Party of Austria]), she was appointed Head of Section III, "Public Health and medical Matters" at the Federal Ministry of Health on 1 March 2011. Between 2013 and 2016 she also worked as a visiting professor at the Medical University of Vienna.