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MedUni Vienna and University of Vienna to set up joint research clusters

(Vienna, 13 January 2011) The new year brings innovative forms of cooperation at the university location of Vienna. At MedUni Vienna and the University of Vienna interdisciplinary and inter-university, translational research projects will be launched in six joint research clusters. For this purpose the two universities are providing three-year start-up funds totalling 1.3 million euros from their global budgets.

“Research clusters aim to open up innovative pathways and build new bridges between basic research and patient-oriented research (bench-to-bedside),” said MedUni Rector Wolfgang Schütz and Heinz W. Engl, Vice Rector of the University of Vienna, explaining the joint initiative. In order to intensify this cooperation, the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna decided to provide start-up funding for particularly innovative, interdisciplinary, translational research projects between the two universities’ faculties, centres and clinics.

This measure aims to lead to novel and, if possible, equally weighted cooperation ventures between researchers from the two universities. The research clusters will be set up with a limited duration of three years and based on international evaluation with the objective that the projects will continue to finance themselves after the end of the funding period by acquiring third-party funds (e.g. from the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG, or the EU).

Following a two-stage selection procedure with international appraisals - at least one clinical and one basic research-oriented review - the two universities’ rector’s offices have decided to finance the following projects from the total of 16 full applications:

• Role of disbalanced mRNA stability in the development of inflammation-associated colorectal cancer.
Bereiche: Onkologie & Infektionsbiologie
Ao.Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Gasche, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin 3 gemeinsam mit Ao.Univ. Prof. Dr. Pavel Kovarik, Universität Wien, Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie

• Shared Neural Resources for Music and Language: Verification and Clinical Exploitation.
Bereiche: Imaging & Kognitionsbiologie
Ao.Univ. Prof. Dr. Roland Beisteiner, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Neurologie gemeinsam mit Univ. Prof. Dr. Tecumseh Fitch, Universität Wien, Fakultät für Lebenswissenschaften

• Chalcones and hematological malignancies – a model for the development of a drug optimisation platform in malignant diseases.
Bereiche: Medizinische/Pharmazeutische Chemie & Onkologie
Ao. Univ. Prof. Thomas Erker Universität Wien, Fakultät für Lebenswissenschaften gemeinsam mit Univ. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Jäger, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin 1

• Analyzing Health Data for the Evolution of Patient Treatment Processes - Pilot Project Skin Cancer.
Bereiche: Onkologie & Workflow-Systeme
Univ. Prof. Dr. Michael Binder, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Dermatologie, sowie Univ. Prof. DI DDr. Wolfgang Dorda, Ao.Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Georg Duftschmid und Ao.Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. Walter Gall, Zentrum für Medizinische Statistik, Informatik und Intelligente Systeme der MedUni Wien gemeinsam mit Univ. Prof. Dr. Stefanie Rinderle-Ma, Universität Wien, Fakultät für  Informatik

• Multimodal Neuroimaging in Clinical Neurosciences: Assessment of neurobiological markers for psychiatric disorders.
Bereiche: Biologische Psychologie / Psychiatrie & Imaging
Univ. Prof. Dr. Claus Lamm, Universität Wien, Fakultät für Psychologie,  gemeinsam mit Ass. Prof. Priv. Doz. Dr. Rupert Lanzenberger, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

• "Microbial Infections & Host Immune Response"
Bereiche: Bioinformatik & Allergologie / Immunologie/ Infektiologie
Univ. Prof. Dr. Arndt von Haeseler, Max F. Perutz Laboratories (Universität Wien, MedUni Wien) gemeinsam mit Univ. Prof. Dr. Sylvia Knapp, MedUni Wien, Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin 1