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Moves & Milestones

bridges vol. 16, December 2007 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

In its "moves & milestones" section, bridges presents career steps and other outstanding events in the professional lives of Austrian scientists and scholars in the US and Canada.

Eric Kandel
has received the 2007 National Academies’ Best Book of the Year Award for his personal memoir, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind. Kandel, who is the 2000 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine, has been university professor of physiology and cell biophysics, psychiatry, biochemistry, and molecular biophysics at Columbia University since 1974.

For further information on Eric Kandel and the 2007 National Academies’ Best Book of the Year award visit:

Werner Ploberger
was installed as the first Thomas H. Eliot Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Before becoming a professor in the economics department at Washington University in 2006, he was a professor in the department of economics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Ploberger obtained his doctorate as well as his master’s degree at the Vienna University of Technology.

More information can be found in the press release from Washington University in St. Louis:

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Wilhelm Gauster
was recently elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science "for outstanding contributions and leadership in the advancement of fusion energy science and technology and defense sciences."

Gauster, who received an A.B. in applied physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Tennessee, served as senior manager and deputy director at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before he retired in December 2005.

The official press release can be found on the Web site of the Sandia National Laboratories:

Eva Schernhammer
received the Professional Lighting Design Recognition Award in Research/Education for an Outstanding Contribution to Research and Scientific Record of Significant New Findings related to Architectural Lighting Design in Application.

Eva Schernhammer, who is currently assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, holds a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Vienna Medical School, a Doctor of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Science in psychology from the University of Vienna.

To learn more about Eva Schernhammer, please visit:

Hubert Zajicek
recently joined the North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technology (NTEC) as director, and therefore assesses new technologies and manages the daily operation of the company.

Before joining NTEC, Zajicek was on the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he was an NIH-funded principal investigator and co-investigator of research grants. He received his Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Vienna School of Medicine in 1996, and his Master of Business Administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in 2006.

To learn more about the NTEC, please visit:

Franziska Michor
has left Harvard University to join the research faculty at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she is an assistant member of the Computational Biology Program. Her lab investigates the evolutionary dynamics of cancer initiation and progression as well as treatment and resistance.

Franziska Michor did her undergraduate education in Vienna and Trieste and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2005. Afterwards she was a Harvard Junior Fellow working at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Her lab Web page can be found at:

Bernhard Weigl
is head of Diagnostics Development at PATH, and has been named the director of the new Center for Point-of-Care Testing for Global Health. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the center aims to develop affordable diagnostic tests for people in the developing world.

Weigl obtained his doctoral degree from Karl-Franzens University and joined PATH after his postdoctoral work at the University of Washington where he is also an affiliate professor in the Department of Bioengineering.

Further information can be found at:

Ruth Pfeiffer
was tenured in February this year as a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health.

After graduating with a Dipl.-Ing. Degree in applied mathematics from the Technical University of Vienna, she received a Fulbright Fellowship and earned a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1998. She joined the Biostatistics Branch at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, NIH, as a postdoctoral fellow in 1999, and in 2001 was appointed principal investigator.

More information on Pfeiffer can be found at her Web site:

Gertraud Robinson
from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, recently published a review in Nature Reviews Genetics on the “Cooperation of signaling pathways in embryonic mammary gland development.”

This is her second contribution to this prestigious series. In 2005 she coauthored a paper titled “Information networks in the mammary gland” with Lothar Hennighausen in Nature Reviews Cell Biology.

To obtain more information on Gertraud Robinson please visit:

Florian Ederer
recently published his first book, Solutions Manual to Accompany Contract Theory (MIT Press, September 2007).

He is currently a Ph.D. graduate student in the MIT Department of Economics and his research focuses on the theory of incentives and organizations.

For more information please visit:

Günter Bischof
gave lectures this Fall at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, on “Lessons from the Postwar Occupation of Austria for Iraq” and at the European Forum in Alpbach 2007 on “American Public Diplomacy: Past and Present.”

Günter Bischof is professor, department chair, and director of the History Department of the University of New Orleans, and the director of the university's Center Austria.

For more information on Günter Bischof and the Center Austria visit:

Otto Vogl
In honor of his 80th birthday the Polymer Institute in Bratislava as well as Traiskirchen, the city where Otto Vogl was born, organized festivities.

Otto Vogl is a Herman F. Mark Professor Emeritus of the Polytechnic University and emeritus professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

For more information on Otto Vogl visit:
http://people.umass.edu/vogl/ {/access}

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