Associated Faculty Members


Brigitte GASSER is leading the team on "Molecular biotechnology of yeasts" at the Department of Biotechnology. Her research aims at the molecular characterization and physiology of yeasts such as Pichia pastoris under recombinant protein production conditions, with special emphasis on oxidative protein folding, organelle-specific redox regulation connected to protein folding and secretion, and secretion related stresses (e.g. unfolded protein response, ROS formation, redox balancing). Thereby, one goal is to understand the regulation of the secretory pathway. Furthermore, she is interested in novel ways of strain engineering for improved protein secretion or the identification of novel cellular tools based on systems biology approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
Email: Brigitte Gasser
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Georg M. GUEBITZ is Full Professor and Head of the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology. His research focus is on the investigation of enzymatic strategies for functionalisation and processing of materials and for bioenergy production. Moreover, he investigates enzymatic routes in environmental applications like recycling and detoxification processes. This includes mechnanistic investigation of enzyme catalysed pathways in environmental processes as well as the characterisation and exploitation of novel enzymes. The obtained knowledge is then combined with rational design of novel enzymes for improved biotransformation of polymeric substrates both of natural and synthetic origin.
Email: Georg Guebitz
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Stephan HANN is Associate Professor of analytical chemistry and principal investigator of the research group 'Instrumental Analytical Chemistry and Metabolomics' at the Department of Chemistry at BOKU Vienna. In mass spectrometry based metabolomics, his group performs metabolic profiling, metabolic flux analysis and non-targeted analysis of metabolites and intermediates in biological and environmental systems. Current method development is mainly focused on biotechnology related research and applications as well as metabolomics of the rhizosphere. Stephan Hann is responsible for metabolomic analysis within the Core Facility "Cellular Analysis" at BOKU VIBT.
Email: Stephan Hann
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Heinz HIMMELBAUER is Full Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. His research focuses on the assembly and annotation of plant and animal genomes. Particular attention is being paid to the characterisation of the transcriptome and to the analysis of next-generation sequencing data sets. Moreover, he is interested in the development and advancement of bioinformatic tools for genomic studies.
Email: Heinz Himmelbauer
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Margit LAIMER is Associate Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. She is leader of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at the IAM, Vienna. Her fields of research include: (i) Plant Biotechnology for Temperate Fruit Crops (Grapevine and Fruit Trees) (ii) Detection and Elimination of Grapevine and Fruit Trees Pathogens in vitro (iii) Resistance Breeding in Grapevine and Fruit Trees against Plant Pathogens: Viruses and Fungi (iv) Genetic Transformation of Woody Species; Molecular Characterization of Genotypes and Cultivars (v) Identification of Tissue Specific and Pathogen Inducible Regulatory Sequences of Woody Species (vi) Study of Genes involved in Allergenic and Pathogen Response (vii) Plant Cell Factories for pharmaceutically interesting molecules
Email: Margit Laimer
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Roland LUDWIG is Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Food Science and Technology and Key Researcher at ACIB, the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. His research interest is oxidoreductases − their screening, characterization, engineering, expression and application in biocatalytic processes, lignocellulose degradation, biosensors and biofuel cells. His team works multi–disciplinary using techniques from fungal microbiology, phyolgenetics, high–througput screening, fermentation processes, protein purification, enzymology, protein structure modeling and docking, bioelectrochmistry, enzyme engineering and biochemical reaction engineering and process scale–up.
Email: Roland Ludwig
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Clemens PETERBAUER is Senior Scientist at the Department of Food Sciences and Technology. His research focuses on enzymes from food-related microorganisms and their function and application, namely polysaccharide hydrolases, carbohydrate oxidoreductases and glycosyl transferases. Additionally he is interested in food-grade cell factories and expression systems such as lactic acid bacteria and their use in homologous and heterologous protein expression. The employed methods are enzyme engineering using rational as well as random approaches, activity screening and enzymological characterization, and construction and characterization of custom-made expression strains.
Email: Clemens Peterbauer
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Florian RÜKER is Associate Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. His research aims at the engineering of monoclonal antibodies and of antibody fragments as novel biotherapeutic proteins. The main focus is on engineering methods that allow the efficient production of bispecific antibodies or of antibodies or antibody fragments with enhanced properties such as increased stability or prolonged in vivo half-life. In particular, antigen-binding Fc fragments (Fcabs) are seen as a very promising molecular format, since they offer the full functionality of a complete antibody in a molecule of just one third the size.
Email: Florian Rüker
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Michael SAUER is Senior Researcher at the Department of Biotechnology. His research aims at microbial production of base chemicals from renewable resources.
Metabolic engineering and bioprocess engineering are combined to provide microbial processes of industrial relevance. One focus is on the characterization and optimization of natural producers, thus exploiting natural diversity. A second line of research is dedicated to the development of synthetic tools aiding metabolic engineering approaches with a focus on the spatial organisation of metabolic pathways within a given cell..
Email: Michael Sauer


Christina SCHÄFFER is Associate Professor at the Department of NanoBiotechnology. Her research interests are the design, production, characterization, and structure-function analysis of bioinspired supramolecular architectures in combination with protein self-assembly, with a special focus on glyconanobiotechnology: Protein glycosylation engineering to obtain customized glycans capable of biostimulation and/or biotargeting for influencing and controlling complex biological systems; supramolecular biohybrids based on nanometer-controlled (co)display of functional epitopes and their exploitation as glycoconjugate vaccines, receptor mimics, novel nanomedicines with incorporated targeting/delivery signals; frameworks for studying biological phenomena that are triggered through multivalency; bacterial protein glycosylation in the context of on disease development with possible impacts on lead finding.
Email: Christina Schäffer
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Richard STRASSER is Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology. His research interests include: characterization of the plant N-glycosylation pathway with focus on the biochemical characterization of glycosyltransferases and glycosidases involved in N-glycan processing; analysis of transport and trafficking of N-glycan processing enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus; elucidation of the biological function of oligo-mannosidic and complex N-glycans; mechanism of N-glycosylation in plants; characterization of glycan-dependent ER quality control systems in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
Email: Richard Strasser
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Rupert TSCHELIESSNIG is key research scientist at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. In his studies he analyzes protein-protein and protein surface intra- and inter-actions. Methodological approaches cover theories such as Density functional and molecular dynamic simulation as well as reverse Monte Carlo methods. He published on the molecular mechanism of the self assembly processes of proteins, atomic force spectroscopy, uses small angle X-ray scattering and applies a fractal theory to investigate conformational changes of proteins in the vicinity of surfaces and as well as remote thereof. His actual focus is on the impact of salt on the protein scattering potential.
Email: Rupert Tscheliessnig

Karola VORAUER-UHL is Associate Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. Her research interests include: Liposomology and related analytics with respect to liposome formulations for the application of recombinantly derived macromolecules; GMP-production of lipid formulations, stabilization and interaction studies of proteins and protein-domains with artificial membranes, membrane restructuring kinetics, modeling of membrane fluctuations, biochemical and biophysical studies of membrane fluidity, dynamics and composition, characterization of membrane domains.
Email: Karola Vorauer-Uhl
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Jürgen ZANGHELLINI is group leader at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. His research focuses on the mathematical modeling of metabolism, its regulation and control. Based on a systems biology approach he investigates structural, i.e. topological properties of complex metabolic networks and how these structures give rise to metabolic functions. In his group high performance computational tools are developed that allow one to predict rational engineering strategies to turn wild type organisms into efficient cell factories. 
Email: Juergen Zanghellini
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