13. September 2004
THE IMPACTFACTOR 100 The Regular Campus Newsletter
- Chairman ́s Welcome
- People News
- Research & Development News
- Marketing News
- Funding & Finance
- Campus Association
1. Chairman ́s Welcome:
3rd Issue, 13th September 2004
It is a pleasure for me presenting you the third issue of our Campus Newsletter and I hope you will find it informative. Judging by the growing number of news submitted and requests for subscription, even from beyond the Campus, we feel that the previous issues hit the right note with your interests. However, please keep on commenting on what you think to email@example.com . This would be a significant help in order to guarantee the future success of the newsletter.
Furthermore, I am happy to report that the Campus Intranet is available online at www.viennabiocenter.com – well ahead of the original schedule. You will find details on the intranet in this newsletter. I also like to emphasize that the intranet is very much a „living organism“ that will adapt to external stimuli. With other words: I again invite you sending us your comments and suggestions. I also ask everyone to check their personal details in the „search function“ and to report corrections as soon as possible to the Campus Office. By the way, the Campus Office now has its own telephone, fax and email contact. Details to this are provided on the website.
I also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Campus Association Advisory Board for their support. The members met on 1st September for the first time and I am grateful for many good suggestions that were made in this meeting. As examples shall be mentioned here: making life science job offers more readily available to Campus members. This suggestion was a consequence of the responses we received to the job offers that were mentioned in the August newsletter.
Input of a different kind – physical energy – was necessary for another Campus event: the Campus Run. This was as much fun as it was another opportunity to meet, chat, discuss and exchange ideas. We will continue this sports-event on a weekly basis – more details you will find in this newsletter. Another opportunity to meet will be the second Campus Get-Together „Maroni & Sturm“ on 23rd September to which you are all invited.
Finally, the Campus Association has agreed to support the Tuppy Symposium on the 8th of October as a main sponsor. Therefore, I already like to inform you that the Campus will arrange a concise display of the Campus activities parallel to the Tuppy Symposium. Further details you’ll find in this newsletter. In addition, I shall be grateful would every Campus Organization let the Campus Office know what are your space requirements for this display of activities. Many thanks!
Michael Schaude, Chairman
2. People News:
Erich Felber Joins Biovertis as CEO
Erich Felber joined Biovertis as Chief Executive Officer in September 2004. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Munich-based Micromet AG. Felber managed Micromet from its inception as an academic start-up through to the start of first Phase II clinical trials in March 2004. Before joining Micromet he was appointed manager at Andersen Consulting’s strategic services group. Prior to this he was project leader in clinical research at Schering-Plough and group leader of the laboratory for clinical immunology at the Institute of Immunology,
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU). Felber holds a MD degree from the LMU and an MBA degree from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France).
3. R & D News:
A. Gene Cbl-b Involved in Autoimmunity
Josef Penninger and his team at the IMBA identified a „master-gene“ of autoimmunity in mammalien cells – the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b. Cbl-b is a member of the mammalian Cbl family proteins, consisting of c-Cbl, Cbl-b and Cbl-3. Cbl-b is upregulated in T-cells after a tolerizing signal. Loss of Cbl-b in mice results in impaired induction of T-cell tolerance both in vitro an in vivo. Furthermore, ablation of Cbl-b resulted in exacerbated autoimmunity. Cbl-b has been recently identified as a type I diabetes susceptibility gene in rats, and in addition mice experiments show increased susceptibility to arthritis induction. These results could be of importance for the therapy of autoimmune diseases in humans (see references further below).
B. Tick, Tack – The Circadian Clock is Gene Regulated
The signaling pathways by which light and activity shift the circadian clock are not well understood. Scientists in the team around Josef Penninger analyzed mice lacking Dexras1 (a Ras family GTPase protein) in collaboration with scientists from Canada, USA and Argentina. They demonstrated an important role of the protein for Gi/o signaling mediating both photic and non-photic phase shifts of the circadian clock. (see references further below).
Campus Computer – A New Super-Number-Cruncher at IMP
A new & innovative supercomputer for bioinformatics and mass-spectrometric applications is the latest acquisition of the IMP. It ist the largest of its kind in Austria and will enable the selection of genes for later analysis according to complex criteria, the comparisons of whole genomes of different species and the regularly updated predictions of the functions of thousands of so far not characterised genes. The computer features 140 opteron-class processors, about 500 gigabyte central memory and seven terabyte disk storage. It cost well in excess of € 0.5 Mio. and has been funded to a large extent by Boehringer Ingelheim, the IMP’s main sponsor. In cooperation with the IMP, the new supercomputer will also be accessible to IMBA and University researchers.
Evidence for a Size-sensing Mechanism
Scientists of the IMP and the Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Medical University Vienna have addressed the controversial questions if and how cell size is sensed and regulated. Data of diverse experiments with erythroblasts and mouse fibroblasts showed that an active size threshold mechanism exists in the G1-phase, which induces adjustment of cell-cycle length in the next cycle, thus ensuring maintenance of a proper balance between growth and proliferation rates in vertebrates. (see references further below).
Essential Role of the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Cbl-b in T Cell Anergy Induction. In: Immunity, Vol. 21, 167-177, August 2004; Group Penninger, J., Myung-Shin, J., Atfield, A., Venuprasad, K., Krawczyk, C., Sarao, R., Elly, C., Yang, C., Arya, S., Bachmaier, K., Su, L., Bouchard, D., Jones, R., Gronski, M., Ohashi, P., Wada, T., Bloom, D., Garrison Fathman, C., Yun-Cai, L., IMBA
Dexras1 Potentiates Photic and Suppresses Nonphotic Responses of the Circadian Clock. In: Neuron, Vol. 43, 715-728, September 2004; Group Penninger, J., Cheng, H., Obrietan, K., Cain, S., Young Lee, B., Agostino, P., Joza, N., Harrington, M., Ralph, M., IMBA
Evidence for a size-sensing mechanism in animal cells. In: Nature Cell Biology Online; August 2004; Dolznig,H., Rebien, F., Sauer, T., Beug,H. and Müllner, E.W., IMP & Institute of Medical Biochemistry
A chromosomal memory triggered by xist regulates histone methylation in x inactivation. In: PloS Biology, Vol. 2, Nr. 7, E 171, July 2004; Group Kohlmaier, A., Savarese, F., Lachner, M., Martens, J., Jenuwein, T. and Wutz, A., IMP
Structural and functional impairment of an Old Yellow Enzyme homologue upon affinity tag incorporation. In: Protein Expression and Purification, Vol. 36, Nr. 2, 280-91, August 2004; Group Fitzpatrick, T. B., Auweter, S., Kitzing, K., Clausen, T., Amrhein, N. and Macheroux, P., IMP
Dare to Be Different: Asymmetric Cell Division in Drosophila, C. elegans and Vertebrates. In: Current Biology Vol. 14; Nr. 16, R 674-85, August 2004; Group Betschinger, J. and Knoblich, J. A.., IMP
4. Marketing News:
10, 9 , 8…Website Re-launched
Numerous examples describe „real life experiences“ with scientific communication in Austria. Price examples and a full list of customers and their projects are not more then two clicks away. But have a look yourself at www.prd.at
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Development has re- launched its website.
A graphical based information architecture offers a novel and easy orientation.
PR&D’s service offers for media work, graphic & design and consultancy are concisely described.
5. Funding & Finance:
Big Deal at Biovertis
Biovertis AG has closed a Series A financing round of up to € 12 Mio. The equity funding was provided by Techno Venture Management (TVM), Munich. A silent partnership fund is provided through the Kapital & Wert Group, an Austrian corporate finance specialist. In addition Biovertis has been awarded start-up grants and loans totaling more than € 5 Mio. over the next years. The committed funding will allow the company to develop its first antibacterial compound up to clinical trials phase I.
Successful Collaboration Extended
Intercell extends its collaboration with Aventis on the development of bacterial vaccines based on the success in identifying relevant antigens to treat a bacterial disease. In February 2004, Aventis Pasteur, the vaccine business of Aventis, and Intercell announced a research and license agreement for the development of vaccines targeting a bacterial disease. Under the terms of this agreement, Intercell applied its Antigen Identification Program (AIP) to identify relevant antigens. In this extension, Intercell will further develop the antigens that have been successfully identified with its AIP.
European Science Funding – Good, but with Room for Improvement
The European Commission invites scientists to a debate about Europe’s future science policy. The commission wants to hear – and promises to act on – the views of scientists before the presentation of its proposals for the Seventh Framework Program in autumn. To kick-off the debate the commission has identified six major points for successful science
policy, including stimulation of competition among scientists engaged in basic research, launching European technology initiatives and making Europe a more attractive location to top researchers. By filling in an online questionnaire every researcher can give an input: http://europa.eu.int/yourvoice/forms/dispatch.jsp?form=330&lang=EN
Note: The Seventh Framework Program will be launched early 2006 under the Austrian EU presidency.
6. Campus Association:
A. The Campus Online
The website of the Campus Vienna Biocenter has now been upgraded with an intranet facility. Beside general information about the Campus, the intranet now offers the profiles of 15 Campus organizations and a database with a range of search-functions available to all Campus members. With a password the door is opened to a list of 650 people working at the Campus, and to the main competences available at the Campus. Campus members will receive the password with a separate E-mail. Furthermore, a diary keeps you informed about the next Campus activities – no more excuse for not attending! And additionally you will find an archive of all Campus Newsletters. Just in case you unfortunately lost them…
B. Get to Know the Advisory Board
The first meeting of the new elected advisory board of the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association took place on 1st September. On the agenda were future activities of the Campus, for example on the occasion of the Tuppy Symposium (see below) and future funding & finance programs for the Campus projects. We keep you informed about forthcoming activities and decisions. If you are interested in more details, please request a copy of the minutes from the Campus Office.
from the left to the right: Michael Krebs (IMBA), Ulrike Unterberger (PR&D), Michael Schaude (chairman), Günther Staffler (Biovertis), Irene Rech-Weichselbraun (Bender MedSystems), Christian Gieffers (Affiris), Erwin Heberle-Bors (fh-campus wien), Barbara Strutz-Grell (secretary), Karin Payer (cashier), Renée Schroeder (chairwoman), Heribert Hirt (GMI);
not on the photograph: Oskar Smrzka (Axon Neuroscience), Erika Bürk (Genosense Diagnostics), Harald Isemann (IMP), Alexander v. Gabain (Intercell), Tim Skern (Medical University Vienna), Dirk Hoppe (VBC Genomics), Werner Lanthaler (auditor)
Who is Who: The Medical University of Vienna
The Department of Medical Biochemistry at the Campus Vienna Biocenter is part of the Medical University of Vienna. Formerly the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna, the Medical University became an independent organization during the university reforms in
2004. The Department and several Institutes of the University of Vienna Life Science Faculty at the Campus will soon be joined in the Max F. Perutz Laboratories.
Around 25 scientists in the Department of Medical Biochemistry are involved in teaching the new medical curriculum as well as in several undergraduate and graduate programs at the Life Science Faculty and in post-doctoral training. More than 200 scientists and students at the Department perform outstanding research in many areas of molecular and cell biology. The work is mostly funded by external, peer-reviewed research grants. Since joining the Vienna Biocenter in 1992, scientists of the Department have, together with their colleagues at the Vienna Biocenter, created many national and international research networks and run a renown international Ph.D. program.
C Schneider, Wolfgang
T 4277 618 ex 03
C Foisner, Roland
T 4277 616 ex 80
The University Institute of Microbiology and Genetics
The Institute was founded 20 years ago and was the first Institute in Austria on genetics and microbiology as basic sciences. The Institute has four full professors, seven associate professors, four assistant professors, nine technical assistants, and three administrative staff members. There are at present 20 post-docs, 36 Ph.D. – and Diploma students and seven additional non-permanent staff. Present director is Thomas Decker. The CEOs of Intercell and VBC-Genomics, Alexander von Gabain and Manfred Müller, respectively, are former professors of the Institute. Research at the Institute focuses on: the biology of the human immune system, various biotechnological aspects of vaccine development, host-pathogen interaction, mammalian and plant cell signalling, molecular stress biology of plants, plant cell
totipotency and various plant biotech topics, the biochemistry and genetics of RNA and its role in gene expression (several Institute members are involved in an Special Research Program on RNA), and ion transporters. The Institute includes three junior groups. The average scientific output is 60 papers per year. More at: http://www.univie.ac.at/genetik/
A. Tuppy Symposium: Time for Presentation
commence at 3 p.m. Prior to the symposium posters and short presentation of the Campus organizations will be displayed between 1 and 3 p.m. in the atrium of Campus Vienna Biocenter 2 (see map, building number 1). In this way the Campus Association helps visitors to learn even more about the Campus and its organizations. Attendees are also welcome to join a guided tour around the Campus.
B. VBC Mass Spectrometry Meeting 13th October 2004
The Mass Spectrometry Facility of the University Vienna together with the Protein Chemistry Group of the IMP organizes a one-day mass spectrometry seminar on 13th October 2004 in the IMP’s lecture hall free of charge. The aim of this meeting is, to bring mass spectrometry (MS) closer to the researchers of the Vienna Biocenter, to discuss the possibilities that MS offers, to show which investigations are carried out in these MS groups and to introduce some of the newest innovations in this field.
On the occasion of the Tuppy Symposium on 8th October in the Marx building next door (see previous newsletter) the Campus Association will coordinate a presentation of the Campus organizations. The Tuppy Symposium will attract a considerable number of people from all areas of the Austrian life science community and will
The morning lectures will cover theoretical basics, the main techniques used in MS of biopolymers, sample preparation and data interpretation. Two speakers are invited for the afternoon session who will talk about an emerging technique in MS: Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance MS. In order to make the lectures flexible, the organisers would like to know your questions, and your special fields of interests concerning MS. Therefore, a submission form and program will be available online. More at: http://www.at.embnet.org/bmz/Mass/.
C Csaszar, Edina
T 4277 528 ex 46
After a now truly hot summer the Campus will welcome autumn with a party. On 23rd September „Maroni & Sturm“ will be offered in front of the building Campus Vienna Biocenter 6 to celebrate the new season. Please note: this is not a Halloween party hence: No p(b)umpkins yet admitted! Further details soon.
D. Jogging & Relaxing
The first Campus Run on 7th September was a relaxing event for body and soul. About 25 members of the Campus took the opportunity for a joint evening run in the Prater Hauptallee. And everyone agreed (oh yes, you did!) in repeating the Campus Run as it offers an ideal occasion to balance a hard day’s work with fun and fresh air – and a
good training opportunity for the next summer. Therefore, the Campus Run will take place every week from now on.
Chromosome Segregation in Royal Environment
Prof. Kim Nasmyth FRS (Scientific Director IMP) and Prof. Mitsuhiro Yanagida (Kyoto University) will organize a discussion meeting about chromosome segregation from 27th –
28th September 2004, at the Royal Society, London, UK. This meeting will focus on how the morphology of chromosomes is regulated, how sister chromatids are held together, and how microtubules attach to kinetochores and create the forces that will eventually drag sister chromatids towards opposite poles of the cell. The symposium will also discuss how chromosomes are segregated in bacteria.
Science and Art Event
„A Journey to the Center of Life“ („Eine Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Lebens“) is a science and art event organized by dialog <> gentechnik on 27th September. The event offers to discover the DNA, its research and applications from a different point of view: literary and descriptive texts, classical music and picture-projection feature a sensual and entertaining experience. The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the “Festsaal” of the Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Wien.
Music: ars ad libitum
Narrator: Peter Uray
Projection: Frank Väth
Entrance fee: € 10 (reduced € 5)
Please register at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 4277 53035
Intercell at World Vaccine Congress
Michael Buschle (Chief Scientific Officer) will present Intercell’s genomic approach for the rapid detection and validation of bacterial antigens at the 6th World Vaccine Congress, 11th – 13th October 2004 in Lyon, France. Buschle will also participate in a panel discussion on requirements of prophylactic vaccines versus therapeutic vaccines. More at: www.lifescienceworld.com/2004/wvcl_FR
Campus Coaching – Solve Problems & Reach Goals
Having successfully performed a series of coachings with employees of a Campus organization, Birgit Osterhoff, Marketing Manager at Bender MedSystems, now offers her coaching expertise to all Campus members free of charge.
Birgit Osterhoff’s coaching will support decision making, analysis of problems, teamwork ability, goal orientation, work efficiency and further managerial skills. The interactive coaching sessions take place in form of private conversations in which individual
aims, problems and potentials are analyzed and tailor-made solutions are developed together.
Absolute confidentiality is guaranteed.
A brief summary of the coaching’s content and details to Birgit Osterhoff’s qualifications are available from:
C Osterhoff, Birgit
T 796 40 40 ex 111
A. No more Pangs of Hunger
The new Marx Restaurant in the Marx building, Viehmarktgasse, will now happily satisfy hunger of the Campus members. Opened Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. until 7 p.m. (so just right for an evening snack before the late night lab hours) serves small & large meals with
Mediterranean flair. With the motto „fast & fine“ Karin Resetarits and her team is cooking forward to see you.
B. Scientific Writing Demystified
Eva Müller, Ph.D. in Biology and science writer, will present a seminar at the Campus Vienna Biocenter. The seminar offers a step-by-step guideline how to write a professional publication. Structuring a manuscript, appropriate data presentation, effective proofreading and many techniques will be discussed to make writing a manuscript easier. More at: http://www.lifescience-texte.de at ‘Seminars’.
Monday, 4th October, 1 to 6 p.m. Depending on the number of applications there will be another seminar on Friday 8th October (seminar in German).
at the seminar room Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
Price: € 45,00
Please register at email@example.com .
Campus Vienna Biocenter Association
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