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CeMM Scientific Director Giulio Superti-Furga with Prof. Orly Goldwasser (©Laura Alvarez / CeMM).

10th CeMM S.M.A.R.T. Lecture with Prof. Orly Goldwasser

On 27 April 2021, CeMM hosted its 10th S.M.A.R.T. Lecture with Orly Goldwasser, Professor of Egyptology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an Honorary Professor at the University of Göttingen.

The S.M.A.R.T. lecture series is an initiative launched by CeMM dedicated to diverse topics around the fields of science, medicine, art, research, and technology. They address contemporary challenges of science in an interdisciplinary manner and at the interface of science and society, with the aim of establishing an open dialogue with the broader public. Once a year CeMM invites an international speaker renowned for having made extraordinary…

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Last author Jörg Menche and first author Sebastian Pirch (© Michael Sazel/CeMM)

VR visualization supports research on molecular networks

Networks offer a powerful way to visualize and analyze complex systems. However, depending on the size and complexity of the network, many visualizations are limited. Protein interactions in the human body constitute such a complex system that can hardly be visualized. Jörg Menche, Adjunct Principal Investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Professor at the University of Vienna and research group leader at Max Perutz Labs (Uni Wien/MedUni), and his team developed an immersive virtual reality (VR) platform that solves this problem. With the help of VR visualization of protein…

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Artem Kalinichenko and Kaan Boztug. / © St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute.

Immune cells out of control: how lethal hyperinflammation emerges from a novel gene defect

Scientists from CeMM Adjunct PI Kaan Boztug's Group at St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute, together with their collaborators from Finland and Sweden, discover a novel subtype of a genetic disease: genetically determined deficiency of the protein RhoG abrogates the normal cytotoxic function of specific immune cells, causing hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). These new findings may help with the genetic diagnosis for patients with a clinical suspicion of HLH. Published in the high-ranked scientific journal Blood, the study provides a basis for both a deeper understanding of the biology of HLH and the exploration of new…

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CeMM South terrace with the new chairs (© Laura Alvarez / CeMM).

New sponsored chairs arrived at the CeMM terrace

After 10 years in the CeMM building, we have made some renovations in the cafeteria and our iconic terrace overlooking Vienna’s historical center. Despite the challenging times we are living, it is a priority for CeMM to provide an inviting and comfortable space for safe interactions and cooperation not only among our colleagues but also our guests.

At the end of 2020, we launched the “One Chair One for CeMM” fundraising campaign to help support the acquisition of new, high quality outdoor chairs. The campaign was a success and we received donations to cover the costs of 48 chairs. Each chair is unique and includes a dedicated label chosen…

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On the left, fluorescence microscopy images of the cell lines after treatment with solutions 1.5 μM in DMSO of quinoxalines (© Fabián Amaya Garcia & Miriam Unterlass). / On the right, authors of the study.

Successful collaboration among 3 CeMM groups results in the development of a novel synthesis for the quinoxaline functional group

The discipline of chemistry deals with understanding (analysis) and making and transforming (synthesis) of matter. The size-range with which chemistry is most concerned with is that of molecules as building blocks of matter. Molecules are nothing but connected atoms, and when aiming at making, i.e. synthesizing, them, it is useful to chemists to subdivide them into subsets, which are so-called "functions" or "functional groups". Although every type of molecule is unique, it's subsets - the functional groups - will eventually be found in many other molecules. Therefore, approaches of generating a particular functional group may eventually…

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Sylvia Knapp and Christoph Binder (© Klaus Pichler / CeMM).

CeMM bids farewell to Sylvia Knapp and Christoph Binder

Sylvia Knapp and Christoph Binder have been CeMM pioneers and have been associated with their groups with us for 15 years. On 31 March 2021 their CeMM research contracts end and we would like to say a big heartfelt thank you for the scientific contributions, the networking and personal engagement.

Both joined CeMM at the first round of Principal Investigator hiring and have been critical in setting the stage for future directions and hires at CeMM ever since. Both embodied the very essence of how CeMM was trying to position itself, as a bridge between hard-core frontier research in biomedicine and the clinical world. After their MDs, both…

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The image shows a part of the reaction pathway, in which the catalyst is attached to the reacting molecule. This was achieved through quantum chemical calculations of the reaction. (© Giovanni Di Mauro / CeMM)

Acids to drugs - catalytic access to paracetamol

Among the many pharmaceuticals in use every day, one of the most well-recognized substances is the century-old pain killer Paracetamol. Paracetamol is part of a family of compounds, the so-called para-aminophenols, which also includes other biologically active molecules, such as Diloxanide Furoate, which is used against amoeba infections, or the beta blocker Practolol. These molecules are typically synthesised using harsh acids, in processes that involve the formation of considerable amounts of waste (in the form of undesired byproducts).

The research group of Nuno Maulide, CeMM Adjunct Principal Investigator and Professor at the University…

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Pictured from left to right: Science Minister Heinz Faßmann, Andreas Bergthaler (Project Manager at CeMM), Giulio Superti-Furga (CeMM Scientific Director), Anna Schedl (Project Coordinator at CeMM), Anita Ender (CeMM Administrative Director) and Gregor Weihs (FWF President). (Photo credit: FWF/Novotny)

Andreas Bergthaler receives FWF Urgent Funding for further studies on SARS-CoV-2

CeMM congratulates our Principal Investigator Andreas Bergthaler: He is one of the four newly funded researchers who are further expanding their corona research with funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

With funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria’s top researchers have the opportunity to study the Corona pandemic and its consequences. In recent months, 19 research teams were able to get started under the SARS-CoV-2 urgent funding program, and now four more FWF-funded teams are joining them: physician Alice Assinger from the Medical University of Vienna, microbiologist Andreas Bergthaler from CeMM, educational…

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First authors Taras Afonyushkin (left) and Georg Obermayer (right) with Last author Christoph Binder (middle), © Laura Alvarez/CeMM.

New therapeutic approach discovered for reducing the risk of thrombosis

Thrombotic occlusion of blood vessels, which leads to myocardial infarctions, strokes and venous thromboembolisms, is the major cause of death in the western hemisphere. Therefore, it is of critical importance to understand mechanisms preventing thrombus formation. A new study by the research group of Christoph Binder, Principal Investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Professor at the Medical University of Vienna, now explains the important role of immunoglobulin-M (IgM) antibodies in preventing thrombosis. The study published in the journal Blood shows that these antibodies…

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From L to R: Venugopal Gudipati, Johannes B. Huppa, Judith H. Aberle, Maximilian Koblischke Andreas Bergthaler, Benedikt Agerer (© Laura Alvarez / CeMM).

SARS-CoV-2 mutations can complicate immune surveillance of human T-killer cells

The body’s immune response plays a crucial role in the course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition to antibodies, the so-called T-killer cells, are also responsible for detecting viruses in the body and eliminating them. Scientists from the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Medical University of Vienna have now shown that SARS-CoV-2 can make itself unrecognizable to the immune response by T-killer cells through mutations. The findings of the research groups of Andreas Bergthaler, Judith Aberle and Johannes Huppa provide important clues for the further development of vaccines and were…

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