Moves & Milestones

bridges vol. 28, December 2010 / 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.

Maria Christina Binz-Scharf


was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor at the City College of New York (CUNY), where she heads the Management Program.

In the broadest sense, her research examines how individuals search for and share knowledge to accomplish work. More in particular, she is interested in understanding how innovations are diffused throughknowledge networks within and across bureaucratic organizations, as well as how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are used to support processes of knowledge sharing and innovation. Currently, she is studying the collaboration behavior of biologists working in university labs, the referral patterns of primary care physicians, and a network of practice among DNA forensic scientists with grant support from the NSF and the NIH.

Dr. Binz-Scharf holds a PhD in Business Economics from the University of St. Gallen and a BA/MA from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

For more information visit: &

Alexander Rauscher


was appointed assistant professor at the  UBC MRI Research Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in November 2010.

His research is mainly focused on the advancement of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His most recent studies investigate the use of MRI in multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease. Rauscher works on the development of a new technology with increased sensitivity to microstructure and iron content of brain tissue, which results in more detailed images of the brain than did previous technology.

Prior to joining the MRI Research Centre, Rauscher worked as a researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany and at the Exzellenzzentrum Hochfeld-MR (MR Center of Excellence Hochfeld) at the Vienna Medical University in Austria.

Rauscher holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Technical University of Vienna.

For more information visit:

{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}

Wilfried Rossoll


was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine.

His main research interest is the biological role of mRNA transport and local translation in neurons and their dysfunction in neurological diseases. His emphasis is on the axonal function of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease protein SMN in the development and maintenance of motor neurons.

Rosoll received his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Vienna in 2000.

For more information visit:

Matthias Scheutz


was appointed associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, where he also directs the newly established Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory.

His research spans the areas of artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive modeling, complex systems, foundations of cognitive science, human-robot interaction, and multi-scale agent-based modeling.

Scheutz holds master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy and a master's degree in formal logic from the University of Vienna, as well as a master's degree in computer engineering from the Vienna University of Technology. He also received a master's in computer science and a joint Ph.D. in cognitive and computer science from Indiana University in Bloomington.

For more information visit:

Peter Nagele


and his team published an article in The Lancet on chest-compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) versus standard CPR .

Nagele is an assistant professor of anaesthesiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and current president of ASciNA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America). In the article, Nagele et al. report that trial findings have not shown significantly improved outcomes when using chest-compression-only CPR with survival in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Peter Nagele holds an M.D. from the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria.

For more information visit:

Andrea Feigl


has co-authored a paper with Rachel A. Nugent on "Where have all the donors gone? Scarce donor funding for non-communicable diseases " that was published in November 2010 by the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC.

Feigl is currently a doctoral candidate in global health, health systems at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she focuses on the determinants of universal health-care coverage and health financing in developing countries.

Feigl obtained her B.Sc. in biochemistry at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and holds a master's in public health from the same institution
For more information visit:

Susanna Zierler


has published an article titled "TRPM7 is essential for magnesium homeostasis in mammals " in the November 2010 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Zierler, who is with the Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Signaling at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and her colleagues at the Queen's Medical Center's Center for Biomedical Research (QCBR) and the R. W. Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, investigate a protein known scientifically as "TRPM7," shown to be critically involved in the body's maintenance of magnesium levels. Their study found that TRPM7, a bifunctional protein containing a protein kinase fused to an ion channel, allows mainly magnesium to pass through the cell's membrane, and is essential for the control of cellular and whole-body magnesium regulation. LINK

Zierler holds a master's degree in genetics and a master's degree in environmental biology and mathematics from the University of Salzburg. She received her Ph.D. in cell biology in 2007 from the University of Salzburg.

For more information visit:

Franz Franchetti


was part of a team that received top honors in the HPC Challenge Awards Competition, founded  and funded by DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems.

The goal of the competition is to focus the high performance computing (HPC) community's attention on developing a broad set of HPC hardware and software capabilities necessary to productively use HPC systems.

Franchetti is an assistant research professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  His research focuses on the development of high performance computational algorithms.  He is a member of the interdisciplinary SPIRAL team that investigates the question of whether computers can be taught to write fast code.

He received the Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc.)  degree in technical mathematics and a Ph.D. in computational mathematics from the Vienna University of Technology in 2000 and 2003.

For more information visit: {/access}