Clinical Proteomics Krems endowed professorship
The Province of Lower Austria is financing the Clinical Proteomics Krems endowed professorship at IMC Krems.
The objective of this endowed professorship is to set up Clinical Proteomics Krems, a research laboratory in which high-resolution mass spectrometry will be used to develop cutting-edge proteomics technologies for biomedical research and patient-specific analysis in clinical studies.
Objective of the endowed professorship
Analysis of desirable and undesirable immune reactions to biologicals has become a core competence at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems in recent years as a result of the establishment of the Krems Bioanalytics research institute. The endowed professorship financed by the province of Lower Austria will expand technological expertise in this field of research and also extend it in the areas of vaccines and biomarkers. This unique combination will significantly improve the university’s research activity and international profile.
IMC Krems has purchased and installed an Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid mass spectrometer to facilitate the efficient implementation of projects undertaken within the scope of the professorship. This high-resolution mass spectrometer is ideal for a research and development site as it flexibly supports a broad spectrum of methods for different molecules.
The aim is to use this cutting-edge mass spectrometer to develop an analysis platform for the qualitative and quantitative characterisation of immune reactions to biologicals and vaccines, including gene therapies. This research could lead to the proof of the effectiveness of treatments and the identification of potential negative side effects.
An additional focus will be the characterisation of post-translational protein modifications such as phosphorylation and glycosylation. Protein modifications, which are identified in patient samples, should be used as novel biomarkers in clinical applications to classify diseases.
Both focuses are very important in terms of medical research and lie at the heart of many projects in the pharmaceutical industry.
Scientific work on these topics opens up attractive opportunities for collaboration with biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as other academic institutions. For instance, such analytical methods are being used across the globe to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly to gain insights into the interaction of the virus with the target tissue, and to characterise the activation of immune cells and antibody production during an infection.
The research laboratory Clinical Proteomics Krems will ensure comprehensive integration of teaching and research at IMC Krems, as well as strengthen the research profile and Krems as a biotechnology hub over the long-term.
About Franz Herzog
Franz Herzog is head of the biomedical mass spectrometry lab at IMC Krems’ Institute Krems Bioanalytics (IKB). He studied biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and completed his doctorate in molecular biology – his doctoral thesis examined the regulation of cell division – at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), also in the Austrian capital. In the course of his postdoctoral studies at ETH Zurich as a member of the team headed by Ruedi Aebersold, he developed a mass spectrometry method for the characterisation of protein networks. His research was published in the journal Science. In his role as team leader at LMU Munich’s Gene Center, he used the technology to explain macromolecular complexes that control cell division. He has been a researcher and lecturer at IMC Krems since 2021.