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IMC Life Science Meeting takes stock of its achievements

High-calibre experts from the biotechnology industry worldwide convened at IMC Krems

The IMC Life Science Meeting has once again demonstrated its significance as an established platform for exchanging cutting-edge technologies and international collaboration, marking its 20th anniversary this year. This year, the focus was on the latest insights into personalised cancer research and regenerative medicine.

Gruppe beim Life Science Meeting 2024

High-calibre experts from the biotechnology industry worldwide convened at IMC Krems. This year, the focus was on the latest insights into personalised cancer research and regenerative medicine.

The programme gathered an impressive lineup of renowned keynote speakers, as well as biotechnologists from around the world, who shared their expertise on the latest developments and innovations in the field.

Our notable experts included:

Klaus Rumpel from Boehringer provided insights into the industrial development of modern therapeutics and the challenges associated with the development process, which can last up to 15 years.

Teresa Gagliano from the University of Udine discussed the role of signal transduction proteins (kinases) and their significance in cancer initiation and progression.

Jörg Fritz from McGill University in Canada, visiting Krems for the fourth time, spoke about immune system dysfunctions in asthma.

For the first time, a session featuring young emerging biotechnology companies from Austria was held, where they showcased their technology platforms. David Wurm from NovoArc, for instance, discussed the production of bacterial membrane components, which can be used to package unstable therapeutics like COVID vaccines.

Early networking of students, industry partners, and alumni

Students, alumni, and faculty benefited from the exchange and contacts with industry and partner universities.

“It is crucial for our students to build and expand their networks. At the Life Science Meeting, we present them with high-profile personalities practically on a silver platter. Countless times, this meeting has laid the groundwork for their future career paths. We thank all our partners for being part of the Life Science Meeting for twenty years,” Prof. (FH) Dr. Harald Hundsberger, Head of the Institute Biotechnology, confirms the value of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the IMC Life Science Meeting is regularly held in a similar manner at the Swedish cooperation partner, University Linköping. Our colleagues there are also convinced that sustainable networking of students, alumni, and scientists has proven to be an innovative element in higher education.

Outstanding alumni provide insights into their professional lives

Of note are the inspiring contributions of our successful alumni, who presented their success stories and underscored the significance of the IMC Life Sciences Meeting for their own career paths. This year, our graduate Nadine Tüchler from the leading research institution EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) in Heidelberg shared her latest research findings. At the same time, Nadine Tüchler is also a member of the development team that launched the new master degree programme "OMICS Technologies and Data Science in Biomedicine". The EMBL in Heidelberg/Germany has 29 member states and boasts more than 110 independent research groups and service teams covering the entire spectrum of molecular biology at six locations in Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, EMBL-EBI Hinxton, and Rome.

Awards for the best internships and outstanding research

The PTS Award

Every year, Barbara Entler – Professor at the Institute Biotechnology – recognises students who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their PTS (Practical Training Semester). This year, among 60 participating students, 3 bachelor theses, authored by Julia Drescher, Almira Slamnik, and Nico Lamot, were selected. These students completed their bachelor theses in cooperation with highly renowned institutions such as the Harvard Stem Cell Center, the University Vall Hebron in Barcelona, and the Medical University of Vienna.

The Krems Cooperation Research Award

The Krems Cooperation Research Award aims to encourage young researchers in the life science field to distinguish themselves scientifically in the areas of pharmaceutical/medical (bio)technology, regenerative medicine, clinical medicine (new therapy or diagnostic procedures), and preclinical medicine. The award recognises scientific work carried out in cooperation with a company/institution at Technopol Krems with new applications in the aforementioned fields.

Our graduates Caroline Schätz and Christoph Greissler were nominated for this award for their bachelor theses entitled “Generation of Living Blood Vessels from Hypoimmunogenic Pluripotent Stem Cells” and “Labelling of Ebola Virus Inclusion Body Constituents by Proximity Ligation”.

Biotech networks matter

The diversity and high level of networking at the Life Science Meeting are strengthened by the dedicated collaboration with our long-standing cooperation and research partners. They contribute significantly to the career opportunities of our future alumni and are an essential part of a broad network of professionals and organisations in the life science industry. Through their longstanding relationships and collaborations, they contribute to making our meeting a key hub for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and resources. This not only promotes collaboration between different institutions and disciplines but also enables the identification and utilisation of synergies to develop innovative solutions for complex challenges.

Furthermore, these connections provide participants in the meeting with access to a wide range of professional opportunities and partnerships, whether in academic research, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, or other relevant areas of the life sciences. Thus, the dedicated collaboration with our partners significantly contributes to creating a dynamic and integrative ecosystem for progress in the life sciences.

Our strength lies in our cooperation partners (a selection)

MSD Tiergesundheit – Krems Site: The production site of MSD Animal Health Danube Biotech GmbH is part of MSD’s international production network. At the Krems site, bacterial and viral antigens as well as vaccines for veterinary medicine are manufactured using state-of-the-art technologies and manufacturing processes.

Cells + Tissuebank Austria (C+TBA) is a non-profit organisation with the aim of ensuring the medical supply of human tissue of the highest quality and safety. C+TBA acts as a bridge between donors, users, and recipients.

Karl Landsteiner Private University Krems

Universität für Weiterbildung Krems (University for Continuing Education Krems)

Danube Private University

The Lower Austrian Business Agency ecoplus has been supporting us since the beginning, enabling us with their financial contribution to host a networking dinner for our speakers.

First Advisory Board Meeting of the TOPICO PhD programme

In the TOPICO project, which is funded by the FWF's doc.funds connect programme, the research focus of scientists from IMC Krems and the Medical University of Vienna is on the therapeutic resistance of cancer cells. This first official educational cooperation aims to establish a sustainable PhD programme between the two institutions. In the course of the Life Science Meeting, the first Advisory Board Meeting on the project was held together with the project team and experts from science and industry. Prof.(FH) Mag. Dr. Priv.-Doz. Harald Hundsberger, Head of the Institute Biotechnology at IMC Krems, and DI(FH) Dr. Rita Seeböck, lecturer and graduate of the Institute Biotechnology, represent IMC Krems. On the part of the Medical University of Vienna, the scientists Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerda Egger, Ao.-Prof. Wolfgang Mikulits and Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Mario Mikula are members of TOPICO.

OMICS Technologies and Data Science in Biomedicine master degree programme