December 10, 2013

Discovery at CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna brings hope to millions of Myeloproliferative neoplasms patients

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Senior Author Robert Kralovics, first author Thorsten Klampfl

Klampfl T, et al. Somatic Mutations of Calreticulin in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1311347

A newly identified mutation fills the gap in the molecular pathogenesis of MPN and brings hope to many MPN patients: To date a recently identified mutation in the gene called Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) MPN could be held responsible for MPN in 3/4 of the patients. The remaining patients however did not benefit from this discovery as their MPN was not caused by JAK2 mutations. The research group of Robert Kralovics at CeMM in collaboration with Heinz Gisslinger´s group at the Medical University of Vienna now succeeded in the discovery of a new mutation in the gene encoding calreticulin (CALR). This discovery explains about 75 % of the cases for which the reason was unknown so far. It comes to the benefit of millions of patients worldwide as a molecular diagnostic test was made available immediately. The findings have been published advanced online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and was being discussed at the Annual Meeting of American Society of Hematology (ASH). The study has been supported by grants from the MPN Research Foundation and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The results reported in NEJM were presented and discussed with the press in Vienna, on December 13 by Giulio Superti-Furga, Scientific Director of CeMM, Markus Müller, Vice Rector of the Medical University of Vienna, Robert Kralovics, Principal Investigator at CeMM and project leader of the research study, and co-author Heinz Gisslinger of the Medical University of Vienna.

November 26, 2013

The Higgs Boson and Our Life

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Fabiola Gianotti, Ph.D., CERN Physics Department, Large Hadron Collider, gave the 2nd SMART lecture, on November 25th, 2013 at CeMM. Around 200 scientists from different fields and interested lay people attended her lecture "The Higgs Boson and Our Life". We would like to thank Fabiola Gianotti for her brilliant talk!

October 08, 2013

SURF 2013 -CeMM wins the soccer tournament!

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On September 11th, 2013 the soccer teams of IMP,IMBA, ISTA, MFPL, GMI, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Companies of the Vienna Biocenter and CeMM met for the SU(mmer)R(esearchers)F(ootball) Tournament. With fancy footwork, elaborate strategy, a high team spirit spurred on by enthusiastic cheerleaders the CeMM soccer team carried the day! CeMM won each of its matches with a total score of 17:5. We congratulate all teams and thank coach Mischa Pilz for his very good job and IMBA for the excellent organization of the tournament. 

August 29, 2013

Historical scientific success at CeMM’s sister Institute IMBA

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IMBA/ Madeline A. Lancaster

CeMM congratulates Jürgen Knoblich and his team at CeMM’s companion institute IMBA for a truly extraordinary scientific success. The team managed to develop complex human brain tissue in a three-dimensional culture system. The method described in the current issue of NATURE allows pluripotent stem cells to develop into cerebral organoids – or "mini brains" – that consist of several discrete brain regions. This achievement contributes to establish Vienna as a world-known hot spot for biomedical sciences and it is an eloquent display of the scientific prowess of the life science institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences while providing an additional validation of the Academy’s strategy on life sciences. (http://www.imba.oeaw.ac.at/news-media/news/news/brains-on-demand/)

August 26, 2013

Alpbach Health Symposium @ European Forum Alpbach

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From August 16-19 international experts, politicians and decision makers met at the Tyrolean village Alpbach for this year´s Health Symposium, which focused on the question “Who Decides Health?” CeMM´s Scientific Director Giulio Superti-Furga was invited chair of the discussion “Fair Society, Healthy Lives” following the keynote presentation by Sir Michael Marmot and led a plenary interview with John Ioannidids on “How Reliable is Evidence in Medicine”. Together with Jochen Taupitz, Giulio Superti-Furga co-moderated the breakout working group “Creating Knowledge: Which Freedoms Should Clinical Research Have“. In his opening keynote he stressed that freedom in medically-oriented research means to have the financial freedom and possibility of performing a clinically oriented research program. Without reducing in any possible way basic research funding, the challenges society faces, in light of the demographic development and increase in mobility, would require a dedicated research health program. He pointed out the areas of infections (viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic), cardiovascular and metabolic disorders (obesity, atherosclerosis etc), as well as cognitive, psychiatric and neurological disorders as three possible priorities that are both of strategic value for the country and areas of existing scientific competence in Austria. To this effect Giulio Superti-Furga presented the hypothesis of a dedicated and coordinated research effort in medicine and health sciences, to complement the basic research funding programs, in the shape of an Austrian “National Institute of Health (NIH)”.

August 26, 2013

A reversible gene trap collection empowers haploid genetics in human cells

Schematic overview of the human chromosomes and all the “genetrap” insertions that have been mapped by the Haplogen-CeMM team

CeMM and Haplogen make available the world’s largest collection of engineered human cell lines for biomedical discovery

Haplogen, a biotechnology company developing antiviral therapies, and CeMM, the Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, today announced that they are making available their large collection of human cell lines that are deficient for single genes, which they have been building over the past three years as part of a public-private partnership. The partnership, through Haplogen, will distribute requested cell lines to the research community. The collection and the technological advances that enabled its development were published in Nature Methods advanced online, on August 25. It currently includes cell line clones covering 3,000 different human genes, which represents about one third of all the genes that are active in these cells. The collection will continue to expand until all the genes have been targeted.