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Anna Spiegel Research Building opened

(Vienna, 23 June 2010) For the first time a building at the Medical University of Vienna is being named after a person:  Anna Simona Spiegel-Adolf is giving her name to the newly created research building. It is the first section of MedUni Vienna dedicated solely to research.

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At the start of the 1930s Anna Spiegel became only the second woman to qualify as a professor of medicine in Vienna.  Now, with the name of this building, MedUni Vienna is paying tribute to the representatives of her specialist field.  In the Anna Spiegel Research Building it is mainly "translational research" which is carried out in an area of 8,000 m² on four levels.

Translational research – synergy of basic research and clinical use
"Working together instead of alongside each other" is the motto of MedUni Vienna's new research building. For the first time in its history the Medical University of Vienna is able to exclusively run research laboratories (without treating patients) in one building. The Anna Spiegel Research Building is located directly next to the university departments and clinics of the Vienna General Hospital AKH. This means a perfect synergy is created here between basic research and clinical use. Scientists speak of "translational research" in this connection.

Six areas of research
There are also new general conditions inside the building, however: the physical proximity means the scientists in the individual laboratories are in a better position to exchange information among themselves and discuss and scrutinise mutual problems.
The new research building houses laboratories focusing on oncology, cardiology, surgery, dermatology and medical and chemical laboratory diagnostics. There are also premises for paediatrics and the core facilities. These three basic units are equipped with the very latest technology.

Three core facilities: imaging, flow cytometry and genomics
The new imaging core facility comprises two laser scan microscopes and several fluorescence microscopes and transmitted light microscopes, which enable high-resolution images at the cellular level. The modern equipment of the laser scan microscopes enables highly sensitive measurements in the field of fluorescence imaging such as high-resolution images of tissue sections or cells, 3D and 4D reconstruction, images of interactions between proteins (FRET) and live cell culture imaging.

The flow cytometry core facility is a service facility which provides high-speed sorting and high-end analyses of biological material. The unit is responsible for sorting heterogeneous cell populations into single cell populations, analyses of cell populations and functional tests based on fluorescent properties, and also well-founded expertise in flow cytometry and competent advice for the planning of experiments.

The goal of the genomics core facility is to characterise the genetic causes of widespread diseases using high-throughput analyses. Based on the Affymetrix GeneChip technology, the range of services offered by genomics comprises gene expression ¬analyses, high-throughput genotyping, copy number variation analyses and other genetic analyses.
These core units are now available for all specialist areas which carry out research on mutual problem areas in many fields. This is because, in principle, genetic changes or certain mechanisms in cell formation affect all of the branches of research represented here. Ultimately, for example, vascularisation (the vascular field) has the same effect on the emergence of tumours (oncological field) as on the cardiovascular system (cardiological field). It is a similar case for paediatrics and the study of skin diseases.
The direct connection to AKH Vienna guarantees that the patients of the AKH University Clinical Centre are always provided with a level of care which is state-of-the-art worldwide and also that the latest research findings can be integrated immediately and directly in the clinical area.

"The Medical University of Vienna, together with the City of Vienna as hospital sponsor, is responsible for research and teaching and for successful implementation of medical know-how. The new research building is helping make the Medical University of Vienna with its AKH University Clinical Centre more efficient and more competitive in the field of biomedical research and as a location of top-level international medicine," emphasises Rector Wolfgang Schütz.

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