OST Scientist Network & ASciNA Activities

bridges vol. 23, October 2009 / News from the Network

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 (Austrian Scientists 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

ASciNA Activities

ASciNA Greater Washington, DC
Contact: Dietrich Haubenberger at: greater.DC(at)ascina.at

The Annual Summer BBQ at Traudl Robinson's home.
After an unexpectedly pleasant summer in the Washington, DC, area - including our annual summer BBQ at Traudl Robinson's, our group met again on September 10, 2009, to start the new academic year with a talk by Dr. Sonja Scholz at the NIH. Dr. Scholz works at the National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, with the world-renowned neurogeneticist Andrew Singleton. Her work focuses on the genetics of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonian syndromes such as multiple system atrophy (MSA). Dr. Scholz, who received her M.D. at the Medical University of Innsbruck, presented her data on genome-wide association studies in Parkinson's disease and MSA (Scholz et al, Ann Neurol.2009).

The next of the ASciNA talks, which are held monthly, will be given by Florian Mueller, Ph.D., on October 27, 2009, at 6.30p.m. at the NIH main campus (Building 10, Room 7S235). Dr. Mueller, a biophysicist at the National Cancer Institute, will talk about intracellular protein dynamics. Come join us every first Monday for the ASciNA lunch at NIH Building 10.

To get more information, and to receive our newsletter containing the invitation to our events, contact us at: greater.DC(at)ascina.at


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ASciNA Greater Bay Area

Contact: Monika C. Trebo, Susanne Pangratz-Führer at: ascina(at)gmail.com

ASciNA Bay Area enjoyed an evening in January 2009 with Prof. Carl Djerassi, as part of the ongoing series "Stanford Pioneers in Science."  A wide-ranging conversation with Prof. Djerassi dealt with the invention of progestin norethindrone which led to the invention of the birth control pill, as well as the biomedical companies he founded, his career at Stanford, and his work as a novelist; a book signing followed.

In February, ASciNA Bay Area was invited to the screening of the documentary "In Search of Memory," a film based on the book by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Kandel. The evening at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum concluded with a Q&A session with Dr. Kandel and producer Petra Seeger.

And in June, a large international crowd of researchers and entrepreneurs attended a Dinner Reception & Tasting of Austrian Wines, hosted by the Austrian Business Agency in Palo Alto. All three events provided us with an opportunity to meet with Austrians who had not previously been in contact with ASciNA. We were happy to welcome them to our chapter, which has more than 100 members.

In September, Stanford Professor Siegfried S. Hecker, co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, was named a recipient of the Enrico Fermi Award. This Presidential Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious given by the US Government. Prof. Hecker received the award "for his contributions to plutonium metallurgy, his broad scientific leadership and for his energetic and continuing efforts to reduce the danger of nuclear weapons" worldwide. http://fsi.stanford.edu/news/cisacs_siegfried_hecker_receives_2009_enrico_fermi_award_

In order to facilitate easier communication within our chapter, in mid-February we founded the Greater Bay Area group on the social networking platform LinkedIn. Anyone who is not yet ready to undertake the adventure of social networking can still reach us at: ascina(at)gmail.com or stay informed about our activities on the ASciNA web site by following the link to Bay Area. Our annual celebration of the Austrian National Holiday will be held October 24.. We hope to be joined by as many Austrians as have attended in recent years.

ASciNa Greater New York
Contact: Maria Binz-Scharf at: greater.ny(at)ascina.at

The new Consul General of Austria in New York, Dr. Peter Brezovszky, invites Austrians in New York to a reception on the occasion of the Austrian National Day on October 26. We are also planning an outing to an Austrian restaurant in late November/early December, which we will announce through our mailing list.

If you are an Austrian scientist or scholar in the Greater New York region and wish to be included in the list, please send an email to: greater.ny(at)ascina.at

ASciNA Greater Pittsburgh
Contact: Franz Franchetti at: franzf(at)ece.cmu.edu


Franz Franchetti
As of Fall 2009, Franz Franchetti is taking over the organization of the ASciNA Pittsburgh chapter from Reinhard Heinisch, who went back to Austria.  Franz Franchetti is an assistant research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He received his Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc.) in technical mathematics and his Dr. techn. (Ph.D.) in computational mathematics from the Vienna University of Technology in 2000 and 2003, respectively.  

He was a postdoctoral research associate with the Institute for Analysis and Scientific Computing during 2003.  In 2004-2005 he was a postdoctoral research associate with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon University and a recipient of the Schrödinger fellowship awarded by the Austrian Science Fund.  From 2005 to 2008 he was a systems scientist (special faculty) with Carnegie Mellon's ECE Department.  Franz is looking forward to meeting all the Austrian scientists in the Greater Pittsburgh area.  

Please contact him at: franzf(at)ece.cmu.edu to learn more about ASciNA Pittsburgh.