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Federal ministers visit IMBA

On Thursday a special visit to the IMBA and the Vienna Open Lab presented the most important cornerstones of the new Research Funding Act. Anton Zeilinger, President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, welcomed Minister of Science Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP), Minister of the Environment Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and Minister of Economics Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP) at the IMBA, the largest research institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, in an authentic laboratory environment of the Vienna Open Lab.

 

Austrian ministers Faßmann, Gewessler and Schramböck presented the most important guidelines of the new research financing act, which is intended to ensure long-term, growth-oriented financing of the institutions covered by the act and to guarantee more planning security through three-year contracts.

After the press conference, representatives from politics and the media were given exclusive insights into stem cell and organoid research by IMBA's Scientific Director Jürgen Knoblich. 

Currently seven groups at IMBA working on a wide variety of stem cell biology topics. The Knoblich lab works on the development of brain organoids in order to be able to investigate diseases such as epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia or brain tumors in more detail. In 2018, the world's first blood-vessel organoids were developed at IMBA, which now make it possible to investigate common diseases such as diabetes directly on human tissue. At the same time, labs at IMBA are working on heart-organoids, gastro and intestinal organoids, and blastoids. The stem cell initiative at IMBA is funded by the Federal Ministry of Science and the City of Vienna.

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