Participating Departments of the University of Vienna

Contact details of potential hosting departments at the University of Vienna participating in the fellowship program INDICAR.

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Research Platform Translational Cancer Therapy Research


Contact details:
Prof. Dr. Dr. Bernhard Keppler
Research Platform ”Translational Cancer Therapy Research”
Währinger Straße 42, 1090 Vienna (AUSTRIA)
e-mail
bernhard.keppler@univie.ac.at
http://typo3.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=95293


Research focus:

The research platform aims at the development of novel (metal-based) antitumor therapeutics and a better understanding of the processes involved in their mechanisms of action. This understanding in turn stimulates the development of improved therapeutics from known lead structures. The goal is to produce optimized compounds which qualify for clinical evaluation. Ruthenium and gallium compounds have already advanced to early stage of clinical studies, and an oxaliplatin derivative is now entering the final stage of preclinical development. The research platform enables the intensively multidisciplinary work involving chemists and cell/molecular biologists required for advances in combating cancer.
For further information visit:http://typo3.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=95293

Institute of Inorganic Chemistry


Contact details:
Prof. Dr. Dr. Bernhard Keppler
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
Währinger Straße 42, 1090 Vienna (AUSTRIA)
e-mail
bernhard.keppler@univie.ac.at
http://anorg-chemie.univie.ac.at/

Research focus:
Research at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry comprises the areas of bioinorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, environmental and radiochemistry, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, bioanalytics and cell biology. The emphasis is put on the development of novel tumor inhibiting substances, mainly on the basis of metal complexes, but also derivatives of naturally occurring compounds as well as the combination of the two areas. These developments start with the synthesis of the active substance, followed by the characterization by means of analytical and bioanalytical methods as well as cell biological investigations on the mode of action.
For further information visit: http://anorg-chemie.univie.ac.at/

 

Institute of Biological Chemistry


Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Christian F.W.Becker
Institute of Biological Chemistry, University of Vienna
Währinger Str. 38, 1090 Wien, Austria
Email: Christian.becker@univie.ac.at
Phone: +43 1 4277 70510

Research focus:
Headed by Professor Christian Becker, the Institute of Biological Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Vienna is a newly established center for peptide and protein chemistry (founded in 2011). It combines chemical approaches, such as solid phase peptide synthesis, with biotechnological approaches in order to produce site-specifically modified proteins and protein-polymer conjugates. It is part of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Vienna with a strong link to the Max F. Perutz Laboratories with their focus on molecular biology. Together these departments form an excellent environment for research at the interface of synthetic organic chemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. Unique resources are available for organic chemistry, peptide and protein synthesis as well as molecular biology, cell biology and biophysics within the Institute of Biological Chemistry and at several core facilities (MS-Center, NMR-Center, EM-Center).

Institute of Food Chemistry and Toxicology


Contact details:
Prof. Dr. Doris Marko
Institute of Food Chemistry and Toxicology
Währingerstr. 38, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 4277 70800
e-mail: doris.marko@univie.ac.at
Webpage: lmc.univie.ac.at

Research focus:
Research in the Institute of Food Chemistry and Toxicology is dedicated to the elucidation of molecular mechanism of food constituents, either so called “bioactive constituents” as well as potential contaminants e.g. mycotoxins. In interdisciplinary approaches, combining modern food chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and toxicology, we aim at mechanism-based development of respective biomarkers of activity with special emphasis on risk-benefit evaluation. The institute, founded in 2010, is well-equipped with all respective state of the technology and closely linked to the faculty center for mass spectrometry. Central fields of research in this context are:

Food – drug interaction: A spectrum of food constituents including berry polyphenols such as delphinidin, resveratrol from red grapes, genistein from soy beans or epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea has been reported to interfere with topoisomerases, enzymes crucial for the maintenance of DNA integrity. However, a spectrum of clinically used chemotherapeutics also represents topoisomerase-targeting drugs. In cell culture we demonstrated recently that delphinidin suppresses the DNA-damaging properties of topoisomerase-targeting chemotherapeutics. These studies raise the questions: (A) Do polyphenol-rich food preparations compromise the effectiveness of topoisomerase-targeting chemotherapeutics in vivo or (B) if not so, is it possible to protect the intestinal epithelium of patients during chemotherapy from the DNA-damaging properties of systemically applied chemotherapeutic, especially when considering the low systemic bioavailability of most of the food-borne polyphenols when taken up orally.

Role of genetic polymorphisms in the Nrf2 systems in chemoprevention and therapy: Previous studies in our group identified several food preparations (coffee, bilberry, apple) modulating the activity of the Nrf2 pathway, a crucial pathway in the control of antioxidant defense systems. However, the Nrf2 gene as well as subsequent genes are already known to possess several polymorphisms, which might substantially affect the responsiveness of this defense system. We demonstrated recently, that the cellular response to coffee consumption might substantially be affected by the respective Nrf2 genotype. However, Nrf2 is not only activated by bioactive food constituents but represents a key element in the detection of oxidative stress, the defense against electrophiles and has already been reported to represent a potential resistance factor in chemotherapy. Thus, we would like to investigate the role of genetic polymorphisms in the Nrf2 systems in chemoprevention and therapy, also including combinatory effects of Nrf2-targeting bioactive food constituents/contaminants or bioactive food constituents/chemotherapeutics.

Further information: http://lmc.univie.ac.at

Institute of Analytic Chemistry


Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Christopher Gerner
Institute of Analytical Chemistry
Währinger Straße 38, 1090 Vienna, Austria
phone +43 1 4277 52302
e-mail
christopher.gerner@univie.ac.at
Webpage:
http://anchem.univie.ac.at/


Research focus:

Research at the Institute of Analytical is focusing on the establishment of bioanalytical assays related to biomedical research. We want to be able to diagnose, treat and monitor most challenging problems characteristic for anti-cancer treatment, which is drug resistance and stroma-derived tumor promotion. Therefore, we are applying MS-based screening techniques including proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics, as well as targeted quantification of selected marker molecules. We have established relevant in vitro model systems based on co-culturing primary human cells and work with clinical materials including blood and tissue samples.
For further information visit: http://anchem.univie.ac.at/

Department of Pharmacognosy


Contact details:

Univ.Prof. Dr. Liselotte Krenn
e-mail: liselotte.krenn@univie.ac.at
Tel.: 4277-55259


Research focus:
Research field “Drug Discovery from Natural Sources“ at the Department of Pharmacognosy
In an effective search for new therapeutic agents the enormous structural diversity of secondary metabolites of plants, of microorganisms and marine organisms provides an indispensable resource. This applies also to cytotoxic compounds, which can be developed for cancer chemotherapy. In total, more than 50% of the anticancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since the 1960ies originate from such resources. Several antitumour agents from plants have successfully been developed to clinical anticancer drugs e.g. vinblastine, vincristine, paclitaxel, 10-hydroxycamptothecin, homoharringtonine. Other compounds have been isolated from sponges, ascidians or marine microorganisms, which are not only cytotoxic against chemotherapy-sensitive cancer cells but maintain activity in multidrug-resistant cancer types or may even reverse resistance thus displaying synergistic effects with clinically important anticancer drugs. Only recently this development has resulted in the introduction of trabectedine – a compound isolated from a Caribbean tunicate – into therapy for soft tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer. Additionally, many of such substances serve as lead compounds for the derivatisation or synthesis of anti-tumour substances to improve their properties concerning solubility, pharmacokinetics and side effects.

The phytochemical approach of the Department of Pharmacognosy in drug discovery comprises the activity-guided isolation and characterisation of natural products to reveal bioactive compounds and lead structures with anti-cancer properties. The work flow includes the step-wise extraction of freeze-dried samples with solvents of increasing polarity under gentle conditions (low temperature, light protection) to assure the collection of as many genuine substances as possible. Fractionation of these extracts by partition and/or chromatographic methods with different modes of separation follows under monitoring of the cytotoxic activity. The isolation of single compounds depends on their polarity and is usually performed by normal phase or reversed phase chromatography. Dereplication by hyphenated methods such as on-line LC/MS with data base comparison is performed to avoid re-isolation of known active compounds. For structure elucidation of isolated active compounds state-of theart spectrometric and spectroscopic methods are combined. Under monitoring of the cytostatic/cytotoxic activity of extracts and fractions on different tumor cell lines under use of different assays, the selection of the most potent fractions accelerates the isolation of potential new lead compounds remarkably.

Several successful co-operations with different institutions are established.

Examples:
A project dealing with compounds from a tree fern causing mitotic catastrophe in colon cancer cells is in progress under collaboration with the Laboratory of Coloncarcinogenesis, Department of Medicine 1, Institute of Cancer Research, Medical University of Vienna. The focus in these studies the activity on colorectal tumor cells and the identification of the cellular mechanisms underlying effects of the isolated compounds. The research center of the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Vienna in La Gamba, Costa Rica, provides an excellent support for this research and a basis for the collection of plant material and information about the use of herbals.

The major route of metastasising breast cancer is the pull-out of breast cancer cells from the primary tumour by forcing the adjacent lymphatic endothelium to form gates, thereby allowing tumour bulks to intravasate into the lymphatic vasculature to colonise distant organs causing their destruction and finally death. A traditional Turkish healing plant inhibits an early and prominent phenomenon of breast cancer metastasis. In collaboration with the Tumorbiology Laboratory, Department of Clinical Pathology, Medical University of Vienna the activity-guided isolation and identification of active compounds from this plant is in progress to gain lead compounds for novel therapeutic drugs used against metastases of breast cancer.

As since the 1970ies more than 20.000 marine natural products have been described from different marine organisms another research focus are marine Actinomycetes which are cultivated to search for inhibitors of histonedeacetylases.

Department of Nutritional Sciences


Contact details:
Prof. Karl-Heinz Wagner
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Althanstraße 14 (UZA II)
A-1090 Vienna
T: +43-1-4277-549 01
E-mail: karl-heinz.wagner@univie.ac.at 
Webpage: http://nutrition.univie.ac.at/

Research focus:

The Department of Nutritional Sciences and particularly the WG Oxidative Stress and DNA Stability has a strong track record in lifestyle factors related to cancer and cancer prevention.
Oxidative stress and DNA Damage are linked to chronic diseases, particularly to cardiovascular disease and cancer. We are focusing on lifestyle triggers such as the diet, single food compounds, phytochemicals, physical activity and physiologically active non- food compounds (e.g. bile pigments) and their effects on chemoprevention, oxidative stress and DNA stability. In a translational approach from cell to the organism studies are performed in vitro, in animals but particularly the human metabolism by initiating human intervention, cross-sectional or case-control studies. At the bench we are exploring the topic with modern techniques (biomarker) for the determination of antioxidative compounds, biochemical and molecular methods to monitor the oxidation of macromolecules and their oxidation products, chemopreventive approaches for the detection of ROS induced DNA and chromosomal damage, DNA repair and methods used to measure antioxidant enzymes, transcriptional factors and gene responses. The Department is very well equipped with state of the art technology to cover this research and is linked to various core facilities within the University and international co-operation partners, which have a strong track record in chemoprevention and biomarker development.

Fields of research:
Bile pigments - hyperbiliruinaemia:
Bile pigments are naturally occurring compounds formed in the human body. The main pigments bilirubin and biliverdin are intensely colored and can been seen in the skin during jaundice and in the green (biliverdin) and yellow (bilirubin) color of bruises. In the past, bile pigments and bilirubin in particular have been thought of useless or even harmful compounds. Today their positive effects on the organism are known, mainly as antioxidants, but in large epidemiological studies it was observed that people with mildly elevated bilirubin concentrations in their blood, suffered lower rates of heart disease and other chronic diseases such as cancer. Recently we were able to show in mechanistic studies that bile pigments (which are all abundant in the human body) were able to reduce the effects of foodborne and chemical mutagens; especially the bile pigment which are found in the human GUT were highly active. In human cancer cell lines bile pigments were able to induce DNA damage and apoptosis. In a human case-control-study, subjects with increased blood bilirubin levels (also known as “Gilbert´s Syndrome”) showed an improved lipid metabolism, lower mediators for inflammation and a lower body mass index. DNA damage and mutations show age dependency; the effects were more pronounced in older subjects. In further studies we want to investigate the link of hyperbilirubinaemia and colon and liver cancer particularly from in vitro to in vivo using cellular and  molecular biomarker and we have explored links to a large European cancer study. 

Diabetes and Cancer:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is an increasing health problem worldwide and is associated with severe complications. Hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance are the main characteristics of the disease and, based on epidemiological evidence, result in increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Meta-analysis investigating the association between T2DM and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer reported increased cancer risk in individuals with T2DM, which might be due to increased oxidative stress and DNA damage.
In recent studies we assessed whether T2DM is associated with increased genome instability and whether a healthy diet with natural foods can improve genome stability in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs). Based on these results, we plan to investigate chemopreventive effects of plant based foods and bioactive food constituents together with physical activity in various model systems of type 2 diabetics including human intervention.

Department of Nursing Science

Contact details:
Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Hanna Mayer
Department of Nursing Science
Alser Strasse 23/12, 1080 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43-1-4277-49801
Email: hanna.mayer@univie.ac.at
Website: http://pflegewissenschaft.univie.ac.at/en/home/


Oncology Nursing focuses on the experience of living with cancer on both an individual and a family-oriented level across the cancer care continuum (acute – survivorship – palliative), with a particular emphasis on illness- and therapy-related symptoms. Nursing research on cancer symptoms aims to explore the relationship between symptom distress, coping strategies and influencing factors, to develop symptom management and patient education programs. Aside from basic research, priority is put on the development and testing of nursing interventions and translational research/research utilization.

Department of Molecular Evolution and Development


Contact details:
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Technau
Dept. of Molecular Evolution and Development
Centre for Organismal Systems Biology
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Vienna
Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
email: ulrich.technau@univie.ac.at
Tel. +43-(1) 4277-57000
Mobile: +43-664-6027757000
Website: http://molevodevo.univie.ac.at


Research interests:

Research in the Department of Molecular Evolution and Development
focuses on questions of the evolution of developmental processes to
reach an understanding of the ancestral genetic mechanisms of cellular
differentiation processes as well as their divergences. We use the sea
anemone Nematostella vectensis as a model system, which has a
surprisingly complex and vertebrate-like gene repertoire, including most
major oncogenes, like myc, ras, APC, beta-catenin. Unlike vertebrates or
insects, cnidarian polyps are putatively immortal, are ever-growing and
have to differentiate their terminal differentiated cells like neurons
continuously. Yet, still today, not a single tumor has been reported
from these organisms and it is unclear why they do not accumulate
oncogenic mutations. Since cancer involves the re-activation of
embryonic and stem cell properties, we therefore seek to understand how
stem cells are maintained or driven to neuronal differentiation in these
organisms, with an emphasis on Sox, Pax and POU genes. To address these
questions, we use a great spectrum of methods including gene knockdown
methods, transgenics, live imaging and comparative genomics.


Department of Microbiology, Immunobiology and Genetics


Contact details:

Manuela Baccarini, email: manuela.baccarini@univie.ac.at, ph. 0043 1 4277
54607 http://www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/baccarini.html

Pavel Kovarik, email: pavel.kovarik@univie.ac.at, ph. 0043 1 4277 54608
http://www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/kovarik.html

Thomas Decker, email: thomas.decker@univie.ac.at, ph. 0043 1 4277 54605
http://www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/decker.html

Gijs Versteeg, email: gijs.versteeg@univie.ac.at, ph. 0043 1 4277 54637
http://www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/versteeg.html


Research focus:
The Department has a strong background in tumor biology and immunobiology. Research in these areas focuses on mechanisms of cell signaling and how signal transduction controls health and disease. The laboratories coordinate or are members in several national and EU-funded networks including a Doctoral Program in Cell Signaling, JAK-STAT SFB or Marie Curie ITN INBIONET. The networks combine their expertise to investigate interactions between the immune system and tumor cells at the level of tumor microenvironment, tumor surveillance and tumor-promoting tissue inflammation. Better understanding of these processes will help designing new cancer therapies.

Tumorigenesis is a complex process which involves specific oncogenic changes driving cell proliferation, inhibiting differentiation and promoting survival. In addition, changes in the environment, such as the production of new vessels, are necessary to allow tumor growth.  In recent years, it has become clear that inflammation promotes tumorigenesis, for instance by increasing the frequency of DNA damage and oncogenic mutations. Furthermore, cytokine production accompanying inflammatory processes may promote angiogenesis and influence tumor recognition by the immune system. The ability of tumor cells to manipulate their microenvironment is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of tumors. Moreover, intra-cellular deregulation of the cell’s pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB and the ubiquitin-proteasome system are key steps in tumor formation and/or maintenance.

The group of Manuela Baccarini is interested in signaling processes driving tumorigenesis, either in a cell-autonomous manner or by influencing the tumor environment. The Baccarini group uses a blend of genetics, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology to study the role of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway in cancers of epithelial origin (skin, liver) and, more recently, in leukemias.

The groups of Pavel Kovarik and Thomas Decker focus on inflammation.

Pavel Kovarik studies the role of chronic inflammation and dysbalanced immune homeostasis in tumor development using a model of colitis-associated cancer. Immune homeostasis is to a large part maintained by precise regulation of cytokine mRNA stability. The Kovarik lab has established several experimental systems to investigate the molecular wiring which controls mRNA degradation under normal and tumor-promoting conditions. By manipulating mRNA decay we are exploring exploitation of mRNA stability control in therapy of human diseases.

Thomas Decker studies the regulation of inflammation and infection by interferons and their Jak-Stat signal transducers. The lab combines site-directed and global approaches to examine how Jak-Stat signal transduction causes changes in the modification and composition of target cell chromatin.  These approaches are complemented with animal models that allow to manipulate interferon signaling and to assess the resulting changes on global or systemic inflammation, immunity to cancer and infectious disease.

The group of Gijs Versteeg focuses on the regulation of cell signaling by the post-translational modifier ubiquitin. His team uses various types of primary immune cells isolated from human blood to study the regulation of ubiquitin mediated cell signaling and protein-degradation. One of the strong focal points is regulation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB, which directs many cellular pathways and is a central factor in tumor establishment and/or maintenance.

Manuela Baccarini, email: manuela.baccarini@univie.ac-at, ph. 0043 1 4277 54607http://www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/baccarini.html

Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science


Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Rattei
Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
Althanstr. 14, A-1090 Vienna
e-Mail: thomas.rattei@univie.ac.at
phone: +43 1 4277 76680


Research focus
The research of the Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science spans from ecophysiology, computational biology and bioinformatics, genomics, and evolution of key microorganisms in selected ecosystems to interactions of microbes among each other and with eukaryotes. Using a combination of cutting-edge sequencing-based and stable isotope-based approaches we are studying the role of the intestinal microbiota in inflammation, DNA damage, and tumor development in a variety of animal models as well as human cohorts. We also develop novel approaches for the computational prediction and quantitative mathematical modeling of molecular host-microbe interaction networks.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry


Contact details:
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Webpage:
http://merian.pch.univie.ac.at/pch/index.php
1090 Vienna, Althanstraße 14 (UZA II), Austria
T: +43-1-4277-55101

Prof. Gerhard Ecker, E-Mail: gerhard.f.ecker@univie.ac.at
Prof. Thierry Langer, E-Mail: thierry.langer@univie.ac.at


Research focus:

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry (merian.pch.univie.ac.at) has a strong track record in pharmaceutical research related to cancer. This includes the synthesis of new potential anticancer agents, the development of molecular probes for selectivity profiling of ABC-transporter, and the elaboration of in silico methods for elucidating the molecular basis of ligand/ABC-transporter interaction. Projects related to drug efflux transporter are embedded in large scale national and international collaborative projects (SFB35, eTOX). With respect to the INDICAR project, we offer to host proposals related to the following research topics:

-) transporter informatics, with special emphasis on the molecular basis of drug/transporter interaction (G. Ecker)

-) pharmacophore development for in silico ligand profiling and risk assessment in anticancer therapy (T. Langer/G. Ecker)

Department of Drug and Natural Product Synthesis


Contact details:

Ao. Prof. Dr. Helmut Spreitzer (helmut.spreitzer@univie.ac.at)
Ao. Prof. Dr. Norbert Haider (norbert.haider@univie.ac.at)
Ao. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Holzer (wolfgang.holzer@univie.ac.at)
http://merian.pch.univie.ac.at/pch/drugsynth/res1.html


Research focus:

We are a department of the Faculty of Life Sciences and finding anti tumour substances has for some time formed part of the main research focus of our group. 
A short presentation of our research activities can be found on our home page at: http://merian.pch.univie.ac.at/pch/drugsynth/res1.html   

Our active substance candidates (which are partly derived from natural substances) are currently being tested in collaboration with the Institute for Tumour Biology at the Medical University of Vienna. However we are always interested in participating in new interdisciplinary co-operation projects. The INDICAR Fellowship Programme will support the initiation and implementation of this type of co-operation.

We are a department of the Faculty of Life Sciences and finding anti tumour substances has for some time formed part of the main research focus of our group.  A short presentation of our research activities can be found on our home page at: http://merian.pch.univie.ac.at/pch/drugsynth/res1.html   

Our active substance candidates (which are partly derived from natural substances) are currently being tested in collaboration with the Institute for Tumour Biology at the Medical University of Vienna. However we are always interested in participating in new interdisciplinary co-operation projects. The INDICAR Fellowship Programme will support the initiation and implementation of this type of co-operation.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics


Contact details:

Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Walter Jäger
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics Room No. 2E450  Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: (+43-1)-4277-55576
Fax: (+43-1)-4277-9555
E-mail: walter.jaeger@univie.ac.at
Homepage: http://klinischepharmazie.univie.ac.at/people/walterjaeger/

and

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manfred Ogris
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics
Centre of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Vienna
Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 4277 55551
E-Mail: m.ogris@univie.ac.at
http://klinischepharmazie.univie.ac.at/people/manfredogris/

http://klinischepharmazie.univie.ac.at/people/manfredogris/


Research focus:
Through partnerships and collaborations with clinical departments and hospitals our mission is to provide expertise and infrastructure for state of the art research on metabolism, cellular transport and pharmacokinetics thereby improving safety and efficacy of natural and synthetic anticancer drugs in preclinical models and patients and healthy volunteers.

Fields of research:
Metabolism of novel drug metabolising phase I/II enzymes and cellular transport proteins using analytical, biochemical and molecular biology techniques. As metabolites often demonstrate pharmacological activities, their quantification in biological samples is important for the efficacy of prescribed drugs. Besides enzymes, also drug transporters responsible for the cellular uptake and excretion of drugs and their metabolites, are a main focus in our investigations. We therefore analyse the gene expression for drug metabolising enzymes and transport proteins quantitative „Real Time“ PCR in various organs, tumor tissues and carcinoma cell lines. Furthermore we also quantify the encoded proteins by specific antibodies (Westernblots). Using subcellular fractions (microsomes, cytosol), isolated or recombinant proteins and transfected human cell lines we also run functional assays for drug metabolizing enzymes and transport proteins. In these assays we not only quantitatively determine drugs and their metabolites by HPLC we also identify the chemical structure of novel bio-transformation products by LC/MS/MS, and NMR. These results enable us to predict the in vivo situation.

Investigation of the pharmacological activity of isolated or synthesized drug metabolites in various in vitro assays (cytotoxicity, inhibition of cell growth, antioxidative properties, effects on enzymes and on signal transduction pathways e.g. cyclooxygenase 1 und 2).

Drug monitoring und pharmacokinetics of novel anticancer drugs und their metabolites in plasma, urine, dialysate, and tumor tissues of patients. By analysing drug and metabolite concentrations in biological samples we optimise the individual drug therapy and also reduce drug side effects by individualizing the dose.

Department of Chromosome Biology


Contact details:

Michael F. Jantsch (E-mail: Michael.Jantsch@unvie.ac.at) or Katharina Haberler (E-mail: Katharina.Haberler@univie.ac.at)

Research focus:
Carcinogenesis is frequently associated, and in some cases even caused by chromosomal aberrations and genome instability. The Department of Chromosome Biology has a number of research foci, which are highly relevant for research that addresses mechanisms underlying malignant transformation. Chromosome segregation, DNA repair and various forms of recombination are being studied at our department using genetic and biochemical models. For details about ongoing research, please visit www.univie.ac.at/chromosomes

Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology


Contact details:
Renée Schroeder, E-mail: renee.schroeder@univie.ac.at
Friedrich Propst, E-mail: friedrich.propst@univie.ac.at
Dea Slade, E-mail: dea.slade@univie.ac.at
Gerhard Wiche, E-mail: gerhard.wiche@univie.ac.at

Administration:  Paulina.Parafiniuk-Borzecki, E-mail: paulina.rarafiniuk-borzecki@univie.ac.at

Research focus:
The department is home to several groups with an interest in aspects of tumor and metastasis development.

The group of Renée Schroeder studies the mechanism of regulatory RNAs. Recently, using SELEX and RNAseq we identified self-regulatory RNAs in several repetitive elements of the human genome. Transcription of these repeats is often deregulated in cancer cells. We propose to study the impact of self-regulatory and long non-coding RNAs in different primary and immortalized cells.
www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/schroeder.html#.VBMBtBbkZnQ

The group of Friedrich Propst has in the past focused on the role of microtubules and associated proteins in neuronal development. However, recently they generated mice deficient in a microtubule-associated protein, MAP1S, which not only plays a role in the nervous system, but also has been demonstrated to associate with a tumor suppressor protein (RASSF1A) and to modulate cell cycle progression. The group intends to study the role of MAP1S in proliferation and cell migration using their MAP1S knockout mice.
www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/propst.html#.VA11fWMy6KI

The group of Dea Slade focuses on DNA damage response pathways regulated by poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation synthesized by poly(APD-ribose) polymerases (PARPs). PARPs regulate a variety of important cellular processes including DNA repair, chromatin remodelling, transcription, cell division and cell death. The aim is to understand how PARPs regulate DNA damage response to ensure the maintenance of genome integrity, which is compromised in aging and cancer. Poly(ADP-ribose) metabolism has been identified as one of the most promising pathways for drug targeting in cancer therapy.
www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/slade.html#.VA13IGMy6KI

The group of Gerhard Wiche has a long standing interest in intermediate filaments and cytolinker proteins such as plectin. The group has generated a number of plectin isoform-specific, tissue-restricted conditional knockout, and knock-in mouse lines to study plectin function in health and disease. In collaborations with international groups it was shown that plectin is essential for the formation of invadopodia to enable transendothelial tumor cell migration and extravasation for metastasis. Further, it was found that plectin promotes pancreatic tumor growth and progression to an aggressive phenotype.
www.mfpl.ac.at/mfpl-group/group/wiche.html#.VA15lWMy6KI

Computational Physics Group


Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Dellago
Computational Physics Group
Faculty of Physics
Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Christoph.Dellago@univie.ac.at
http://comp-phys.univie.ac.at/

Research focus:
The Computational Physics Group uses modern computer simulation techniques combined with analytical theory to study a broad range of condensed matter systems with an emphasis on soft matter and the statistical mechanics of equilibrium and non-equilibrium processes. The investigation of such systems is computationally challenging, particularly if the fundamental processes occur on vastly different length and time scales. In the Computational Physics Group we focus on the development of efficient computational methodologies based on molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques to overcome these limitations and enhance statistical sampling. Using these simulation approaches, we investigate equilibrium and non-equilibrium processes in systems ranging from nanoparticles to colloidal assemblies, thus bridging the scales from the atomistic to the mesoscopic level. Another focus of the Computational Physics Group lies on the research area of theoretical and computational physics of soft condensed matter and biophysics. Soft matter systems as prime candidates for the targeted and controlled design of material properties at the molecular scale, since the interparticle interactions dictate the macroscopic equilibrium and dynamical behavior of the system. Another extremely important property of soft matter is its high sensitivity to external fields, which offers an additional possibility to externally steer the behavior of soft materials.