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Inter-university clusterprojects of Uni Vienna and MedUni Vienna

In December 2020, four new joint cluster projects were approved at the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna as a bridge in research between the two universities. Topics ranging from anorexia in adolescence to the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will be addressed.

"The joint projects strengthen the tie between the University of Vienna and MedUni Vienna and will foster the transfer of basic knowledge to application-oriented research. With these projects the Universities of will continue to strengthen cooperative translational science in the Viennese area."

Jean-Robert Tyran Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs, Uni Vienna

The aim of the joint interdisciplinary research projects of the University of Vienna and MedUni Vienna is to promote translational research and innovative cooperation.

Since this funding instrument has worked so well in the past, four new projects were selected based on a call for proposals with a competitive selection process. The new inter-university cluster projects will start in 2021 and will be funded for three years.

„Based on a competitive peer-review process projects have been selected for “seedfinancing” to foster long-term research cooperations between the MedUni Vienna and the University of Vienna. These inter-university projects will not only strengthen the bridge between basic research and patient-oriented research but also our main research areas Imaging, Neurosciences and Oncology.“

Michaela Fritz Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, MedUni Vienna

The cluster projects at a glance

Anorexia nervosa in adolescence

The project "A translational psychiatric approach to adolescent anorexia nervosa - from genes to brain systems and behaviors" by Giorgia Silani (University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology) and Andreas Karwautz (MedUni Vienna, University Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) aims to establish and use a reward-based mechanistic model of the human brain in anorexia nervosa as a basis for new and more precise therapeutic interventions.

Post-Covid Care

Monika Pietrzak-Franger from the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna and Susanne Mayer, together with Agata Łaszewska from the Center for Public Health at MedUni Vienna, are taking up a current topic in the project "Post-Covid Care: Translational Health Economics and Medical Humanities at the Frontlines".

Empirical Aesthetics and Imaging

In the project "UNRAVELING THE AESTHETIC MIND IN ANHEDONIA: Insights from pharmacological imaging of the human brain", Sophia Crone from the Vienna Cognitive Science Hub at the University of Vienna and Rupert Lanzenberger from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at MedUni Vienna aim to bring together two previously strictly separate areas of research: Empirical Aesthetics and Pharmacological/Clinical Imaging.

Translational Cancer Therapy Research

Bernhard Keppler from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Vienna and Walter Berger from the Institute of Cancer Research at MedUni Vienna are conducting research in the field of translational cancer therapy in their joint cluster project "Novel Anticancer Agents - from Design to Clinical Translation".

The projects will strengthen the bridge between the University of Vienna and the Medical University Vienna and will promote the transfer of basic research to patient-oriented applications.

Since this funding instrument has worked so well in the past, four new projects were selected based on a call for proposals with a competitive selection process. The four successful projects will start in 2017 and will be funded for three years. The projects will thus contribute to strengthening translational research at both Universities and in the whole Vienna region.

"Novel scaffolds for GABAA receptor modulators"
Steffen Hering (Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology) and Thierry Langer (Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry), University of Vienna and Stefan Böhm, MedUni Vienna, Center for Physiology and Pharmacolog

"Shared and modular resources in the human brain as a basis for new therapeutic interventions"
Roland Beisteiner, MedUni Vienna, Department of Neurology and Tecumseh Fitch, University of Vienna, Department of Cognitive Biology

"The premature gut microbiome and the influence on neonatal immunity, brain development and white matter injury"
David Berry, University of Vienna, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science and Angelika Berger, MedUni Vienna, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

"Translational Cancer Therapy Research"
Walter Berger, MedUni Vienna, Department of Medicine I and Bernhard K. Keppler, University of Vienna, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry

Research clusters are meant to break new ground and to bridge basic research and patient-oriented research (bench-to-bedside). Research clusters are established for a limited period of 3 years based on an international evaluation. The aim is to extend the funding for these projects after the end of the funding period by acquisition of third-party funds (e.g. Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), EU).

The University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna jointly funded 1.3 million euros for the establishment of research clusters for a duration of up to three years. After an elaborate, two-stage selection process based on international assessments the Rectorates of both universities agreed to fund the following six research clusters selected from a total of 16 full proposals

Oncology & Infection Biology 
Christoph Gasche, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Medicine III, together with Pavel Kovarik, University of Vienna, Center for Molecular Biology: Role of disbalanced mRNA stability in the development of inflammation-associated colorectal cancer.

Imaging & Cognitive Biology 
Roland Beisteiner, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Neurology, in collaboration with Tecumseh Fitch, University of Vienna, Faculty of Life Sciences: Shared Neural Resources for Music and Language: Verification and Clinical Exploitation.

Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Oncology
Thomas Erker, University of Vienna, Faculty of Life Sciences, together with Ulrich Jäger, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Medicine I: Chalcones and hematological malignancies – a model for the development of a drug optimisation platform in malignant diseases.

Oncology & Workflow Systems 
Michael Binder, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Dermatology, together with Stefanie Rinderle-Ma, University of Vienna, Faculty of Computer Sciences: Analyzing Health Data for the Evolution of Patient Treatment Processes – Pilot Project Skin Cancer.

Biological Psychology & Imaging 
Claus Lamm, University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, together with Rupert Lanzenberger, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: Multimodal Neuroimaging in Clinical Neurosciences: Assessment of neurobiological markers for psychiatric disorders.

Bioinformatics & Allergology/Immunology/Infectiology 
Arndt von Haeseler, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, (University of Vienna/Medical University of Vienna), together with Sylvia Knapp, Medical University of Vienna, Department of Medicine I: Microbial Infections & Host Immune Response.