Press Releases

June 16, 2017

IMBA-Senior Group Leader Daniel Gerlich elected new EMBO member

Vienna, 16 June 2017 – As EMBO announced today, Daniel Gerlich – senior group leader at IMBA – was elected to its membership, joining a group of more than 1700 of the best researchers in Europe and around the world.

June 12, 2017

Splitting cells: how a dynamic protein machinery executes ‘the final cut’

Every day billions of cells die in our body and need to be replaced by newly dividing cells. Cell division is a beautifully orchestrated process that involves multiple critical steps. At the very end, “cellular abscission” splits the membrane and thereby gives birth to two daughter cells. Abscission is executed by a protein machinery named ESCRT-III. ESCRT-III consists of many subunits that form spiral-shaped filaments to constrict the membrane tube connecting the daughter cells until it splits. Insights into the function of ESCRT-III are also interesting for many other biological processes – as this machinery also pinches off viruses from the host cell membrane, and seals holes in cellular and nuclear membranes.

May 31, 2017

Building better brains: A bioengineered upgrade for organoids

Scientists for the first time combine organoids with bioengineering. Using small microfilaments, they show improved tissue architecture that mimics human brain development more accurately and allows more targeted studies of brain development and its malfunctions, as reported in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

May 29, 2017

Microsymposium on Small RNAs

From May 26th to 28th, the 12th Microsymposium on Small RNAs was held at the Vienna Biocenter (VBC).

May 15, 2017

Less is more: Researchers develop a ‘molecule needle’ using a simplified biological system

Minimalism is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice that encourages individuals to decrease the overall number of possessions owned and live more simply. According to minimalist philosophy, the reduction of unnecessary clutter enables one to live a more functional and purposeful existence. IMP-IMBA Group Leader and CSSB scientist Thomas Marlovits*, in collaboration with colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), discovered that a minimalist approach can also be applied to complex biological systems, such as the type III secretion system. The findings of this collaborative study have been published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications.

May 10, 2017

Connecting brain regions in a dish – A new organoid technology to detect malfunctions in the brain

Scientists at IMBA (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology) describe novel organoid technology combining various brain regions for investigation of epilepsy, and other neurological diseases, as reported in the current issue of Nature Methods.

April 25, 2017

Josef Penninger receives CEE Innovation Award

Vienna, April 25th 2017 For his extraordinary scientific achievements and his international pioneering role in genetics and cancer research Josef Penninger, Scientific Director of IMBA (Austrian Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) was awarded the second CEE Innovation Award.

April 11, 2017

Tuberculosis: Researchers Uncover how Bacteria Burst our Cells

Scientists based in Vienna unveil the complex molecular structure that causes lethal infections by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Their findings might have implications for potential therapies against antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis.

April 06, 2017

Researchers initiate cross-disciplinary bioethics symposium at IMBA

Inquisitiveness, academic freedom, and a pioneer spirit are what drive many scientists to answer previously unsolved questions, collect new findings, and sometimes even open up completely new fields of research. These fields include the first human brain organoid and the CRISPR/Cas9 “gene shears”, both developed in Vienna. Each has enormous potential for modern medicine. But biotechnological innovations lead to any number of questions and pose new challenges for our society.

March 29, 2017

Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos

Using a newly developed method researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) have been able to shed light on the complexity of genome reorganization occurring during the first hours after fertilization in the single-cell mammalian embryo. Their findings have recently been published in the journal Nature. The team of researchers (from three continents) have discovered that the egg and sperm genomes that co-exist in the single-cell embryo or zygote have a unique structure compared to other interphase cells. Understanding this specialized chromatin “ground state” has the potential to provide insights into the yet mysterious process of epigenetic reprogramming to totipotency, the ability to give rise to all cell types.

March 10, 2017

Life scientists move into the mechanisms of self-organization in small brain-like structures

How close to reality are brain organoids, and which molecular mechanisms underlie the remarkable self-organizing capacities of tissues? Researchers already have succeeded in growing so-called “cerebral organoids” in a dish - clusters of cells that self-organize into small brain-like structures. Juergen Knoblich and colleagues have now further characterized these organoids and publish their results today in The EMBO Journal. They demonstrate that, like in the human brain, so-called forebrain organizing centers orchestrate developmental processes in the organoid, and that organoids recapitulate the timing of neuronal differentiation events found in human brains.

March 02, 2017

Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski receives Walther Flemming Award

We are proud to announce that IMBA group leader and EMBO Young Investigator Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski was awarded the Walther Flemming medal for her outstanding research achievements. She received this renowned award in cell biology at the annual spring Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology March 2nd. Kikue is thrilled to receive the medal, especially since “Flemming has inspired generations of cell biologists and certainly my own research”, she says. The Walther Flemming Award is awarded to young scientists up to 38 years of age for outstanding scientific achievements from all areas of cell biological and consists of a medal and a prize money of EUR 2,000.

January 19, 2017

Scientists initiate first ethical guidelines for organs cultivated in vitro

In the latest edition of the professional journal “Science”, Jürgen Knoblich, a leading authority on stem cells and deputy director of the IMBA (Institute for Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), together with international experts, presents a first ethical guideline for research into human organ models. In the article, he also argues for critical and responsible engagement with the new technology.

January 03, 2017

IMBA – The year in review: 2016 brought top-level research funding and scientific milestones

In 2016, IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences received the prestigious “Proof of Concept” grant from the European Research Council (ERC) as well as two fellowships in the renowned EMBO Young Investigator Programme. A series of scientific achievements could pave the way for new treatment options in the future, including the possible prevention of breast cancer, new treatments for deadly fungal infections, and improvements in assisted reproduction.

The Vienna Biocenter in the third district of Vienna has established itself as the premier location for life sciences in Central Europe and is a world-leading international bio-medical research center.

 

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