(Vienna, 12 November 2019) A celebration was held in MedUni Vienna's Rectorate Hall to honour Gerhard Wiedermann on his 90th birthday. As Professor of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine and former Head of the Institute of the same name, Wiedermann's scientific interest lay in tropical medicine and associated epidemiology, immunisation and research into the mode of action of vaccines, as well as travel medicine, for which he laid the foundation stone for the whole of Austria with the Institute's vaccination service.
During the celebration, Rector Markus Müller presented the birthday boy with MedUni Vienna's Badge of Honour.
Gerhard Wiedermann (born in Vienna on 13 May 1929) was appointed University Professor of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine in 1974 and headed up the Institute of the same name at the University of Vienna until 1998. During his specialist training in internal medicine in Professor Fellinger's department, he researched the serological diagnosis of primary chronic polyarthritis and lupus erythematodes. On completing his specialist training in 1960, he joined the Hygiene Institute, where he initially focussed on the diagnosis, immunology and prophylaxis of viral and bacterial diseases.
He then spent a two-year research placement at New York University School of Medicine, where he researched immunological problems in hepatitis, the bases of complement fixation and antibody-mediated cellular immunity.
Back in Vienna, he was appointed head of the Immunology Division of the Hygiene Institute in 1964 and, after gaining his postdoctoral qualification in hygiene with particular emphasis on immunology, he was appointed head of the Hygiene Institute's vaccination service in 1965. From 1967 onwards, he also ran the Hygiene Institute's tests in the field of tropical medicine. He spent numerous placements at Hamburg Tropical Institute and frequently travelled to East Africa to study tropical diseases. In 1974, he was appointed University Professor of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine and took over as head of the Institute of the same name until 1998. Gerhard Wiedermann has been married since 1958; he has three daughters and four grandchildren.
Wiedermann's scientific interests have included three main areas: tropical medicine and associated epidemiology, immunisation and research into the mode of action of vaccines, as well as travel medicine, for which he laid the foundation stone for the whole of Austria with the Institute's vaccination service. His cost-benefit analyses, risk-benefit calculations for vaccinations and predictions about the value of new vaccinations met with international acclaim and, as a consequence, he was increasingly asked to act as an adviser for drafting vaccination recommendations and headed up the Vaccination Committee of the Austrian Supreme Health Council for many years.
As author of more than 390 scientific articles, four books and numerous book contributions, he has won awards such as the Kardinal Innitzer Prize, Wander Prize, Höchst Prize, the Medical Association Prize and the Vienna Chamber of Commerce Prize.