OST Scientist Network & ASciNA Activities

bridges vol. 21, April 2009 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

The OST network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, and focuses on the outreach of government-related agencies to Austrian scientists in North America. Its main objective has been to support the scientific community with information and specific advice wherever necessary and requested.

Encouraged by the OST, an independent association - ASciNA (AustrianScientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established throughout the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit: www.ascina.at


Welcome from the new ASciNA President Peter Nagele

Nagele Peter
As new president of the ASciNA network, uniting all Austrian scientists and scholars in North America, I gladly accepted the invitation from the bridges editors to introduce myself and provide a brief outline of what we would like to accomplish as ASciNA in the next few years. I have been affiliated with ASciNA since the famous ASciNA inauguration event at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, in 2002. As an anesthesiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, I work with patients undergoing major surgery at our affiliated hospital and perform clinical and translational research in the field of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine.

{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}
In November 2008, I took over the helm of this great ASciNA network from our immensely dedicated Eva Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.Sc., who over the course of several years managed to make ASciNA the essential network between scientists and scholars in Austria and North America. Through Eva's dedication and persistence, ASciNA together with the BMWF established the ASciNA young investigator award for junior scientists, which was awarded for the first time at the magnificent FWF-Gala, together with the two most prestigious research awards in Austria:  the Wittgenstein-Preis and the START-Preis. Being present when our firsttwo ASciNA-awardees, Franziska Michor and Stefan Dollinger, received their awards from the Austrian Minister for Science and Research madeus within ASciNA incredibly proud. For those of us who attended the FWF-Gala, this was one of the moments that we will never forget.

My vision for ASciNA in coming years is to build on the strong foundation Eva Schernhammer created and make ASciNA an even better resource for assisting young researchers of all ages who want to do research in North America and for enabling established Austrian researchers to return to Austria. Our ambitious new mentoring program,which we created together with our partner brainpower austria, will help young researchers team up with excellent Austrian mentors at North American research institutions. We will hold annual conferences in Austria targeting university students, to facilitate and explain opportunities of doing research in the US and Canada. Our vision includes collaboration with the major research institutions in Austria, such as the FWF, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and ISTA, as well as the government (BMWF, BMVIT, BMAA). We will continue to expand and foster our excellent relationship with the Office of Science and Technology at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC.

To achieve financial stability and independence, we plan to expand ourpartnership with sponsors who are highly active in R&D, and we arevery happy to count on continuing support from the Industriellenvereinigung. The Austrian biotech "wunderkind" Intercell became our first private sponsor, and we hope many more Austrian firms who share ASciNA's goals and vision for bridging Austria and North America will emerge and support us.

I am honored and proud to have been elected the new president of ASciNA. With our team of dedicated local chapter chairs, ASciNA board members, and ASciNA alumni back in Austria, I know that we can achieve our goals and help our researchers fulfill their dreams.

News from the ASciNA Chapters

ASciNa Pacific North
Contact: Julius Halaschek-Wiener at pacific.north(at)ascina.at


Austrian scientists on a back country ski trip.


In Canadian west coast style, a bunch of Austrian scientists went on an exciting and outstandingly beautiful back country ski trip near Whistler, BC. As the photograph shows, the spirit of ASciNA is omnipresent.