This SFB is committed to support participating early-stage researchers to advance their careers in full consideration of their abilities and preferences. They will participate in an interactive and collaborative research consortium that provides an inspiring academic environment and is well embedded in an international network. Monthly seminars attended by all PIs will provide the platform for early-stage researchers to present and discuss their progress and will offer a forum for lively discussions of future prospects and new directions. In addition, young scientists will have the opportunity to acquire experience, techniques and concepts outside their own working groups.

Over the last decade, the project leaders of the SFB JAK-STAT have successfully mentored over 100 students to complete BSc/MSc or PhD theses. The national and international cooperations established and intensified during the ten years of the SFB JAK-STAT programme will continue to support the careers of participating early-stage researchers past and present.

Each PhD student will be supported by a PhD committee containing at least one member outside the host institution. The students will be expected to complete a PhD curriculum including lectures, courses and training in soft skills to ensure a balanced and well rounded education.

The participating institutions have established quality-controlled PhD programmes that fully comply with international standards. This includes extensive measures to ensure gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting, social permeability and a family-friendly work structure. The Vetmeduni is highly unusual in that the vast majority (typically over 80%) of its students are female. Women are generally overrepresented on the campus. The Vetmeduni has an on-site crèche and a number of other measures to support staff members with families. Its efforts have been recognized by the award of the certificate ‘University and Family’. In addition, all consortium members are also participating in national FWF-funded programmes or international research projects that include quality-controlled education of young scientists.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Thomas Krausgruber receives the Karl Landsteiner Award for Immunological Basic Research of the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI, www.oegai.org) handed over at the Virtual Congress Day December 4th 2020.

Thomas Krausgruber from Christoph Bock’s lab was selected by the Award Committee of the ÖGAI supported by international reviewers for his work and widely recognized publication in Nature entitled ‘Structural cells are key regulators of organ-specific immune responses’ (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2424-4). Thomas is supported by the FWF and contributed with his research critically to research area 3 “homeostatic regulation”. The entire team of the SFB congratulates to this award, which is endowed with 4,000 € by the Karl Landsteiner & Eisler-Terramare Foundation – Memorial Private Foundation.

Heidi Neubauer advances to principal investigator in second funding period.

Heidi has been a post-doctoral fellow with Richard Moriggl and made significant contributions during the first stage of the SFB to elucidating the structural and functional consequences of oncogenic driver mutations in STAT3 and 5.

She recently became principal investigator within the ERA-NET PerMed funded project “JAKSTAT-Target”, which includes partners from Helsinki (Satu Mustjoki, Tero Aittokallio), Cologne (Marco Herling) and Toronto (Patrick Gunning, Benjamin Haibe-Kains). Within the international consortium Heidi will contribute work on preclinical models to investigate the role of the JAK-STAT pathway in mature T cell lymphomas and to identify potential drugs and drug synergies targeting this pathway. Heidi received her PhD at the University of Adelaide (AUS) and accepted a postdoctoral position at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Cancer Research Vienna (AT). Since 2019 Heidi is employed as an assistant professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. Based on her successful work under the mentorship of Richard Moriggl, for the second funding period Heidi has taken over as group leader in the SFB and guides the research on STAT5 changes the chromatin landscape during malignant T-cell transformation and on critical cooperativity partners of STAT5 in neoplastic T cells as novel therapeutic targets.