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Welcome by the University

Dear PhD Students,
The numerous cranes on our premises are visible evidence of our innovative spirit. With the start of three major construction projects already this year, MedUni Vienna has set the course for the future of medicine.
Innovative spirit is also what drives you as a young scientist on your career path. To support you in this, MedUni Vienna is once again hosting the YSA PhD Symposium. This unique event will provide you with excellent opportunities for scientific exchange and for learning important skills that will be useful in your career.
We look forward to welcoming you there at the 18th YSA PhD Symposium!

Markus Müller
Rector of the Medical University of Vienna


Dear Colleagues,
It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome all of you at the 18th PhD Symposium of the Medical University Vienna. This year’s meeting will extend the series of memorable PhD Symposia organized by the Young Scientist Association (YSA) of our University, and I would like to thank the organizers for their enormous efforts to let this event happen again.
One aim of the PhD Symposium is to provide an institutional platform for annual progress reports that have to be delivered by each of our doctoral students. The progress of the thesis project is to be presented to the thesis committees (consisting of at least three persons) which accompany and guide the doctoral fellows. Within the framework of the PhD Symposium, our doctoral candidates will reach a much wider audience than just the members of their thesis committees and can expect to receive feedback on their research not only from experienced and leading scientists at our University, but also from a large number of fellow students. I hope that this will help our doctoral candidates to further increase the impact of their thesis projects. In addition, the Symposium offers an opportunity to meet doctoral students from other thematic programs, to learn about their work, and to discuss various aspects of a doctoral student’s daily life with people having an unrelated scientific background.
I would like to thank all authors, in particular the keynote speakers, for their participation and contribution to the outstanding scientific program. Once again, I wish to extend special thanks to the YSA board for organizing the symposium and to all sponsoring companies for their support. I hope that all of you will enjoy the two days of our PhD Symposium from both, a scientific and a social point of view.

Stefan Boehm,
Director of the Doctoral School of the Medical University of Vienna


Dear participants,
Welcome to the 18th YSA PhD Symposium at the Medical University of Vienna.
Our university is dedicated to fostering a research community that promotes the development of all research staff and in particular the next generation of researchers. We consider our PhD students ‘Early Career Researchers’ who, through creation of new knowledge, serve as an important pillar not only for research at our university, but for the academic community as a whole.
Our aim is to accompany our PhD students on their way to becoming creative, critical and autonomous intellectual risk takers, pushing the boundaries of frontier research. The academic journey, among many other things, involves raising one’s professional profile, developing key skills, and creating strategic alliances. This PhD symposium series, which has been a flagship event of the MedUni Vienna’s Young Student Association for almost two decades, provides a showcase for the achievements of our young research talents and for the diverse and broad research landscape of our university.
I would like to thank the YSA board members and the organizing committee who invested a lot of time and effort to set up such a comprehensive program.  Organizing a symposium is a valuable learning experience on its own. Special thanks goes to all speakers who will share their ideas and insights and to all participants who will take the chance to connect and learn.
I wish all of you a fruitful and inspiring meeting and encourage you to consider these two days as a chance to advance your knowledge, wherever you are on your academic journey.

Michaela Fritz
Vice Rector for Research and Innovation




Dear PhD Students,

The Medical University Vienna wants to be the place where doctoral students will
develop into young scientists who are fascinated by science and find attractive
opportunities to start successful careers in science.
“Our PhD Programs aim to provide you with all the skills and knowledge you need
to be an excellent scientist and science leader” (Medical University Vienna PhD
Programs). We look out for talented students around the world to join our PhD
programs. The educational objectives of our programs include the main abilities
the young scientists need, as e.g. “a systemic understanding of a study field and
proficiency in the skills and methods associated with this field. Students will gain
the ability to plan, design, implement and adapt a research project with scientific
integrity and an original research output that increases the limits of knowledge
and substantial research work. Earn abilities to make your research output avai-
lable to the scientific society according to national and international publication
standards underlined through the ability to perform critical analysis, evaluation,
and synthesis of new and complex ideas. Win competence in communication with
the professional environment and the scientific community as well as society
about basic questions of science and scientific politics and be capable to promote
technological, social, and cultural progress within an academic and professional
context. Through the coronavirus pandemic we learned how science contributes
to population health in a health crisis, how important it is to have strong scientific
communities, infrastructure and resources to fulfill population’s needs to overco-
me crises.” (Medical University Vienna PhD Programs)
Scientists have many different roles, not only to be a good scientist.
The crisis shows again communicating science to policy makers and the
population is crucial, to bridge different worlds of understanding how science
functions and to match expectations from different sides. Being a PhD student at
the Medical University should also train you how to be a communicator in science
to the non-scientific-community.
“In science truth always wins“ (Max F. Perutz).
Health improvement for the people is the overarching goal for all of us.
The YSA and YSA PhD Symposium provide an excellent platform to meet and
network, and to share research results and ideas and make steps forward.  

Many thanks for your great efforts in organizing this year’s YSA Symposium at the Medical University of Vienna.

Anita Rieder

Vice Rector for Education at the Medical University of Vienna