Moves and Milestones

bridges vol. 21, April 2009 / 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.

Hartmut Häffner

haeffner_hartmut_small.jpgwas appointed assistant professor of physics at the University of
California at Berkeley in August 2008 and recently received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. He researches quantum information processing with trapped ions.
Häffner worked as senior scientist at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Innsbruck, Austria, in the research group of Prof. Blatt from 2001 until 2009. He was part of the group's outstanding success regarding realization of the first quantum bytes and effective teleportation with atoms.
More information about Hartmut Häffner, his research, and the Sloan Research Fellowship can be found at:
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Elisabeth Maurer-Spurej

maurer_elisabeth_small.jpgset up her own early-stage medical device company in November 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  LightIntra Technology Inc.'s core technology is the ThromboLUX, invented by Maurer-Spurej in 2006 (Phys Med Biol.2006;51:3747-3758). ThromboLUX is a dynamic light-scattering device to test the quality and function of platelets for transfusion, and will significantly improve patient care.

Maurer-Spurej, a scientist with Canadian Blood Services, also works as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

For further information on Elisabeth Maurer-Spurej please visit:   and

Stefan Leutgeb

leutgeb_stefan__small.jpgreceived a prestigous Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship for his research on the neuronal mechanisms of long-term memory storage. The two-year fellowships are awarded annually for original projects led by outstanding individuals or teams.

Leutgeb is an assistant professor in the Section of Neurobiology at the University of California at San Diego. Before Leutgeb joined UCSD in August 2008, he worked at the Center for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim.

More information about Stefan Leutgeb is available at:   and

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} Stefan Dollinger

dollinger_stefan__small.jpgWas appointed as assistant professor for English language in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Dollinger, who received the ASciNA Young Investigator Award for 2008, will start his new position in July 2009.

Dollinger has been a postdoctoral research fellow in this department since 2006, and is now in a position to expand his work on varieties of English, focusing on Canadian and North American varieties.

For further information on Stefan Dollinger and the Department of English at UBC please visit:   and   and

Ruth Tinnacher

tinnacher_ruth__small.jpgcompleted her Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in May 2008. She now works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemical Sciences Division of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

Her research focuses on the effects of organic and inorganic colloids on the environmental transport behavior of radioactive contaminants in soils and groundwater systems. This research will lead to an improved understanding of the physicochemical processes determining actinide mobility, and is therefore relevant for the long-term stewardship of nuclear waste and the successful remediation of contaminated field sites.

Tinnacher also holds a M.E. in chemical process engineering in industrial environmental protection from the University of Leoben and a M.S. in environmental science and engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

For further information, please visit:   and

Nikolaus Gantner

gantner_nikolaus_small.jpgjoined Environment Canada's Water & Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC) housed at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2009. The focus of his current research is to determine the effects of climate change on the lakes and their food webs in the Canadian Arctic.

Gantner recently finished his doctoral research on mercury contamination in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) at the Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, Gantner started his career in Canada in 2002 by participating in an Austrian-Canadian research project for his M.Sc. work, through the University of Innsbruck and the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. After completing his M.Sc. in Innsbruck, he moved to Canada in 2004 to start his Ph.D. studies at Guelph.

For further information, please visit:

Andrea Rentmeister

rentmeister_andrea_small.jpghas recently published an article in the journal Nature Chemical Biology on chemo-enzymatic fluorination of unactivated organic compounds.
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Rentmeister is a postdoctoral fellow in the Frances H. Arnold Research Group, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, at the California Institute of Technology, Los Angeles.

For more information about Andrea Rentmeister, please visit:

Dietrich Haubenberger

haubenberger_dietrich_small.jpgrecently published an article "Variant in the sequence of the LINGO1 gene confers risk of essential tremor" in the journal Nature Genetics.
This paper results from his cooperation with a researcher at the Medical University of Vienna. ( )
Haubenberger is currently a research fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, and head of the Greater DC Chapter of ASciNA (Austrian scientists and scholars in North America).

To learn more about the National Institutes of Health please visit: