(Vienna, 28-07-2015) The University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) will use the next few months to develop a joint life science strategy with the aim of promoting the importance of Vienna as a center of excellence in this field.
Heinz W. Engl, Rector of the University of Vienna, Markus Müller, Rector designate of MedUni Vienna, and Anton Zeilinger, President of the Academy of Sciences, all agree on the need for an institutionally coordinated strategy in order raise Vienna's profile as a life sciences center.
Each of these three institutions brings different aspects of knowledge and expertise to the Vienna life sciences center:
The University of Vienna covers the areas of development, evolution, diversity and interaction with the environment and is employing various methods to investigate bio-molecules, cells and a multiplicity of species, ranging from microorganisms to humans. The biomathematics/bioinformatics expertise available within the university is enormously important in many different areas.
MedUni Vienna leads in the area of translational-clinical research in the fields of oncology, immunology, medical neurosciences, cardiovascular diseases and molecular imaging.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences is focussed more on basic research into molecular processes with the emphasis on the fundamental causes of cancer, infectious or immune system diseases and personalised medicine and the investigation of genetic mechanisms using plant model organisms.
The initiating institutions have a long history of successful collaboration. For example, for ten years now, the University of Vienna and MedUni Vienna have been jointly running the Max F. Perutz Laboratories at the Vienna Biocenter, in which the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Gregor Mendel Institute for Molecular Plant Biology are associate partners. MedUni Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Research Center for Molecular Medicine have been working together at the Vienna General Hospital site since 2005.
The reason for developing a joint strategy is to improve the coordination of existing and future projects in terms of content, give them more conceptual depth and, where necessary, to take account of structural consequences. The partner institutions are hoping that this will create new and sustainable momentum in scientific policy.
Subsequently, other institutions that are active in the life sciences sector in the Vienna region will be invited to join in this strategic development process.