Tobias Suske, PhD student at the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics at Vetmeduni Vienna, was awarded at the Annual Meeting of the Austrian Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (OeGHO) and the Working Group for Hematological and Oncological Nurses (AHOP) spring conference 2019 for his outstanding presentation “The gain-of-function STAT5BN642H mutation as a driver of T-cell lymphoma and leukemia”. With his work, he won the Young Investigator Award.

Tobias Suske from the Functional Cancer Genomics Department at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics received one of the young talent awards. The Young Investigator Awards are endowed with 1000€ each and are awarded by Janssen Cilag Pharma GmbH. In his PhD project, Tobias Suske studied the STAT5BN642H mutation. This genetic change has been found frequently in recent years in patients with T-cell lymphomas and leukemias, who are usually extremely aggressive and difficult to treat. The research focuses on understanding the mutation at the molecular level in order to create therapeutic approaches for targeted active substances.

Two publications from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna were awarded prizes. The article "STAT5 is a key regulator in NK cells and acts as molecular switch from tumor surveillance to tumor promotion", published in Cancer Discovery, received the research award from the City of Vienna Fund for innovative cancer research. The renowned Theodor Billroth Prize of the Vienna Medical Association was awarded to the publication "Aggressive B-cell lymphomas in patients with myelofibrosis receiving JAK1 / 2 inhibitor therapy", published in Blood.

The City of Vienna Fund for Innovative Interdisciplinary Cancer Research is an initiative to support science and research in Vienna and to strengthen its importance in the public consciousness. This year's research funding award goes to a publication by first author Dagmar Gotthardt and last author Veronika Sexl from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna. The research group showed for the first time that natural killer cells produce a factor (VEGF-A; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A) that can promote tumour growth. This study also defines STAT5 as a master regulator of NK-cell proliferation and lytic functions. Link to the publication can be found here.

The Theodor Billroth Prize of the Vienna Medical Association was awarded to another study led by Veronika Sexl, including first authors Edit Porpaczy (MedUni Vienna), Sabrina Tripolt and Andrea Hölbl-Kovacic (Vetmeduni Vienna). The results of this study show a risk for patients with the rare bone marrow disease myelofibrosis when treated with a JAK1/2 inhibitor, which is commonly used as a standard drug. Founded by the Vienna Chamber of Physicians, the Theodor Billroth Prize supports young academics and scientific activities. The Prize was awarded on December 17th 2018 in Vienna. Link to the publication can be found here.

The best scientific posters at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the winners of the new VetIdeas Poster Challenge were announced as part of the 'That's Vet' show. The Poster Award was decided in two categories by a jury of science journalists and also by the University Council. The winners of the VetIdeas Poster Challenge were determined in advance by a jury decision.

After a one-year hiatus, Vetmeduni Vienna received another poster award in the 2018 edition of these prizes. All posters from 2017 and 2018 were eligible to participate. The best posters were again determined based on the nominations of science journalists and this year also with the support of the new University Council. At the same time, a new competition format was launched this year, the VetIdeas Poster Challenge, supported by the “tecnet equity” and “Accent Gründerservice”. Individual researchers or research teams were able to present ideas and concepts that could be implemented as products or intellectual propriety. In two workshops, the participants also learned how to present their work in a poster format and in a pitch. The workshop ended with the presentation of the poster and a pitch in front of a jury.

the Aegean Conferences 4th International Conference on Cytokines in Cancer meeting website for further info.

SFB-associated PhD students receive prizes in the Annual Poster Awards of Vetmeduni Vienna 2018

The Austrian Pharmacological Society has awarded the renowned Heribert Konzett Prize 2018 to Andrea Hölbl-Kovacic from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology (in Veronika Sexl’s group). The award recognizes outstanding achievements in experimental and clinical pharmacology. This is the first time this prize is awarded to a member of the Vetmeduni Vienna. Andrea Hölbl-Kovacic convinced the selection with her excellent publication performance on the STAT5 protein and its role in the development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Named after the renowned Austrian physician, pharmacologist and pioneer in the development of asthma drugs, the Heribert Konzett Prize is a high honour from the Austrian Pharmacological Society (APHAR). It is awarded annually to young scientists under 40 from the experimental field and clinical pharmacology, who have made outstanding achievements in this research field through independent, outstanding achievements, such as multiple publications in renowned specialist journals and third-party fundraising. On September 28, 2018, APHAR officially awarded the prize at a symposium in Graz, and for the first time to an employee of Vetmeduni Vienna. For her publications about STAT5’s role in leukemia, Andrea Hölbl-Kovacic previously received the Hans Horst Meyer Award from APHAR and the Funding Award from the City of Vienna Fund.

Two PhD students from the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics of the Vetmeduni Vienna were awarded session prizes at the 2017 annual conference of the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI). Natalija Simonovic won a prize for her oral presentation “Tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) regulates NK cell function by cell-intrinsic and –extrinsic mechanisms” and Andrea Pölzl received the prize for the poster "Tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) enables sustained IL-1beta production through the upregulation of caspase-11 during endotoxemia".

The annual meeting of the ÖGAI, which took place in Vienna from November 23th to 25th 2017, focused on Immunotherapy. In six independent sessions, different scientific contributions and perspectives on this topic were presented and discussed in lectures and poster presentations by national and international researchers. The ÖGAI was founded in 1970 and is a platform for researchers in Austria who are scientifically active in this scientific field. 

On December 13th 2017, the Rectorate awarded the most successful researchers of the year with the internal science awards of the Vetmeduni Vienna. Veronika Sexl (Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology) and Mathias Müller (Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics) won the prize for “major project” for successfully assuring grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and the FWF Special Research Program, respectively.

Each year, the Rectorate of Vetmeduni Vienna honors scientists for “invention of the year”, “most cited scientist”, “highest third-party funding” and the "major project of the year" with internal science prizes. The prizes were awarded according to the different career stage, in clinical and non-clinical categories, as well as in two age groups (younger than 35 years and older than 35 years). Pictures of the event can be found here.

On November 30th 2017, Veronika Sexl, Head of the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Vetmeduni Vienna, was awarded the City of Vienna Prize (Preis Stadt Wien) in the Medical Sciences category for her life's work. Veronika Sexl was honored in the field of medicine for her outstanding performance during her career. In this video, the researcher talks about her career and what science is for her.

The City of Vienna Prizes are awarded every year in a wide variety of areas. An independent jury of experts decides annually on the awarding of prizes, which are endowed with 8,000 euros each. The City Councillor for Culture, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, awarded the City of Vienna 2017 Prizes in eight categories. The full list of awardees can be found here.

Dagmar Gotthardt was awarded the Ursula and Fritz Melchers Prize for best dissertation at annual conference of The Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI) on November 24th 2017. She completed her PhD in 2016 at the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna with the PhD dissertation "The Role of STAT3 and STAT5 in murine Natural Killer Cells". This prize sums to others that the researcher received during her studies.

Dagmar was able to show that NK cells not only kill tumour cells, but can also promote tumour growth in certain circumstances. She identified STAT5 as the central switch in this decision. Dagmar was able to contribute to a total of 14 publications; she was the first author in 4 publications. The ÖGAI dissertation prizes are awarded for PhD dissertations with a scientifically outstanding content in the field of allergology or immunology. The first prize is donated by Ursula and Fritz Melchers in the amount of 1,500€.

Two students from Vetmeduni Vienna were awarded presentation prizes at the joint symposium of the PhD programs “Inflammation and Immunity” and “Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergology”. This was the second edition of this joint symposium, this year with the title "Together one step further". It happened on September 25th and 26th 2017 at the Medical University of Vienna.

Daniela Prinz from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology won the best lecture by the students for the oral presentation "NKG2D: friend or foe in NK cell mediated tumour surveillance". Ana Puga from the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics won the best poster award with the work "The role of STAT1 isoforms in Th cell differentiation and CD4+ T cell-mediated diseases".