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Professorship of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology

(Vienna, 1 July 2010) As of 1 July Univ. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Presterl at MedUni Vienna is taking over the Professorship of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology with consideration of hospital hygiene. This is therefore already the third appointment of a female professor in 2010.

Elisabeth Presterl, Professor of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology with consideration of hospital hygiene

So far Prof. Dr. Presterl has worked as a senior physician at Department of Medicine I. She is head of the microbiology laboratory of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. Her previous teaching activities include, as well as practical training and courses,
also lectures and seminars such as "experimental microbiology" and "fungal infections" and lectures at international congresses and further training courses.

In her current professorship, Presterl focuses on the combination of science, teaching and research with cooperation with the clinics to prevent and control infection so patients can be provided with ideal care. To coordinate and optimise the previous activities of the Division of Hospital Hygiene there will be the following areas of focus, among others: interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research on issues related to hospital hygiene because effective hospital hygiene can also help cost-effectiveness. Not least, in teaching, a fundamental understanding of how to prevent and detect infection needs to be instilled in future doctors.

In the scientific field there is focus on intensifying research in hospital hygiene for innovative diagnostics and epidemiology of hospital infections, pathogen typing and infection prevention. As well as focusing on issues related to hospital hygiene, clinical research also comprises biofilm-associated infections and fungal infections. Research on microbial biofilms, in particular the study of the effects of disinfectants, antimicrobial substances and other surface treatments in biofilm models with bacteria and fungus is being expanded.

Short biography:
Univ. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Presterl, born in 1963 in Klagenfurt, was awarded a doctorate in 1987 after studying at the Vienna Medical Faculty and was initially a scientific employee at the Department of Chemotherapy. After completing her specialist training in internal medicine at the Vienna General Hospital, in May 1995 she began working as a senior physician at the Department of Medicine I in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy and worked as a consulting physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine in the field of antibiotic therapy and infection diagnostics. In 2000 came a postdoctoral qualification in internal medicine focusing on the theme of "cytokine profile with bacterial and fungal sepsis". After the Degree in Tropical Medicine at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine there came training as a specialist in hygiene and microbiology in the Hygiene Institute and the Virology Institute at the Medical University of Vienna. After a stay abroad at the Zurich University Hospital, in 2007 there finally followed training as an additive specialist in infectious diseases and tropical medicine.

Elisabeth Presterl is currently President of the Austrian Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. As well as her work as organiser of various scientific congresses and conferences, she is also a member of numerous professional organisations (American Society of Microbiology, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases etc.) and in 2008 was awarded the Prize for Hospital and Industrial Hygiene of the Austrian Society for Hygiene, Microbiology and Preventive Medicine.


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