Moves & Milestones

bridges vol. 31, October 2011 / 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.

Harald Ott

Ott_Harald C_small.jpgis one of the recipients of the NIH Director’s 2011 New Innovator Award for his project titled “Organ Engineering Based On Perfusion Decellularized Matrix.” The award seeks to support “unusually creative” new investigators in their research innovations with up to $1.5 million for five years.

Ott is an instructor in surgery and has his lab at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Regenerative Medicine. Known for his work in whole organ decellularization, he achieved success with the heart and is now striving for the same in lung, kidney, and pancreas.

For further information, please visit:

Hubert Zajicek

Zajicek_Hubert_small.JPGhas been promoted to managing director of medical technology at North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technology (NTEC). He now leads the medical technology program and daily operations of NTEC.

This September, Zajicek was also elected president of Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASciNA) at their annual board meeting and general assembly in New York City. ASciNA is a nonprofit organization which supports the activities of Austrian scientists and scholars in North America and aids in the transitions between life on both continents. Over the last year, Zajicek has been a leader in the development of ASciNA in the US and worked with a team of web developers to produce the new ASciNA web page.

Heidrun Moertl

Moertl_Heidrun_small.jpgis currently conducting research in the Department of American Indian Studies of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is the recipient of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research's (BMWF) Marietta Blau Stipend.

Until August 2012, she will be on leave from the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz, where she is one of the academic staff members. Moertl was the recipient of the Latino Center on Aging’s “Tomorrow’s Leadership Award” during their Golden Age Awards Ceremony this past June. 


{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} Susanne Seitinger

Seitinger_Susanne_small.jpghas returned to Austria as a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Vienna and a visiting scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology. She focuses on the strategic arrangement of programmable (LED) lighting elements that shape inviting and responsive 24-hour public spaces in the city. She will be returning to Boston in January 2012 to start work at Philips Color Kinetics.

Prior to her return, she was a postdoc with Prof. Pattie Maes's Fluid Interfaces Group and, in collaboration with Philips Color Kinetics, she developed LightBridge for the MIT 150th Anniversary Festival of Art, Science, and Technology. At MIT, Seitinger participated in numerous research and design projects on digital city environments including the Digital Mile in Saragossa and the Digital Media City in Seoul.

For more information, visit Seitinger’s web site:

Bernhard Voller

Voller_Bernhard_small.jpgreturned in August to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland as a senior researcher and a special volunteer at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the Division of Intramural Research in the Human Motor Control Session. He is also a contractor of Ariston Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Prior to this, Voller was an associate professor of clinical neurology at the Medical University of Vienna. He has many publications, especially in the fields of movement disorders and neurorehabilitation.

Andreas Pinterits

Pinterits_Andreas_small.jpgwas appointed as director of project management at the University of California Office of the President where he serves as the deputy to the vice president of student affairs.

Pinterits received his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna and is a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Prior to joining the University of California he was a lecturer in the Management Department at the University of North Dakota and a guest professor at the University of Shanghai for Science & Technology.

Gernot Fasching

Fasching_Gernot_small.jpghas returned to Austria as a staff engineer and technical project leader at Infineon Technologies AG.

While in the US, he was a research fellow and Erwin Schrödinger Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Materials Department. Fasching was a 2008 Loschmidt-Prize recipient for his dissertation on terahertz semiconductor lasers and quantum dots at the Photonics Institute of the Technical University of Vienna.

Stefan Kautsch

Kautsch_Stefan_small.JPGhas been appointed assistant professor in the Division of Math, Science, and Technology at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Kautsch was formerly a visiting assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.

Kautsch earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2006. His specific fields of interest and research are observational cosmology and galaxy morphology, as well as evolution.

Thomas Teo

Teo_Thomas_small.jpgwas appointed full professor at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is a faculty member in the History and Theory of Psychology Program at York, one of the very few programs worldwide where graduate students can pursue specialized training in history and theory of psychology. He is editor of the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology  and is currently editing an international Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology (Springer Verlag). 

Teo is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association in recognition of his significant contributions to the advancement of the science and profession of psychology in Canada, as well as a fellow of the American Psychological Association in recognition of outstanding and unusual contributions to the science and profession of psychology. He received his Dr. phil. degree in 1992 from the University of Vienna.

For further information on Teo, visit:

Sebastian Linnemayr

Linnemayr_Sebastian_small.jpghas published a paper in the Journal of Development Economics  called "Almost random: Evaluating a large-scale randomized nutrition program in the presence of crossover." It reports the results of a large-scale nutrition intervention in three rural regions in Senegal and deals with deviation from the original randomized study design.

Linnemayr currently holds the position of associate economist at the RAND Corporation  in Santa Monica. Before coming to RAND, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health .

For further information on Linnemayr's research, please visit:


Christian V. Forst

Forst_Christian_small.jpghas coauthored a paper in Nature Chemical Biology on "Chemical inhibition of RNA viruses reveals REDD1 as a host defense factor."

Forst currently holds the position of assistant professor in biomedical informatics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center  (UTSW) in Dallas. His interests involve host-pathogen interactions, host response, drug development and emergence of infectious diseases, as well as multilevel biosystems comparisons. 

For further information on Christian Forst and his lab at UTSW, visit:


Tina Wakolbinger

Wakolbinger_Tina_small.jpg   has been appointed professor for supply chain services and networks in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Management   at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business).

Previously, she was an assistant professor in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis.


Andreas Beilhack

Beilhack_Andreas_small.jpg  is coordinator for the Else-Kröner-Forschungskolleg for Interdisciplinary Translational Immunology at Würzburg University  , Germany. This three-year program seeks to advance the training of physician-scientists and will start in January 2012. It was one of three projects selected by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, out of 54 competing projects, and will receive €1 million in its first funding period.

To learn more about the Else-Kröner-Forschungskolleg for Interdisciplinary Translational Immunology at Würzburg, visit:  
For further information on Andreas Beilhack, visit:  

Christoph Koch

Koch_Christoph_small.jpg   has been appointed professor of computer science at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne   (EPFL), specializing in data management. Until 2010, he was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University.

Prior to this, he was an associate professor of computer science and chair of information systems at Saarland University   from 2005 to 2007. Earlier, he received a diploma in computer science from TU Vienna   (1994–1998), was a Ph.D. student at CERN   (1998–2001), a postdoctoral researcher at TU Vienna and the University of Edinburgh   (2001–2003), and an assistant professor at TU Vienna (2003–2005). 

Nina Rohringer

rohringer_nina_small.jpghas joined the Max Planck Advanced Study Group (ASG) at  the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg as a Max Planck Research Group leader.

Rohringer is a theoretical physicist with focus on Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) physics. She has received her PhD from Vienna University of Technology, Austria (Technische Universität Wien) in 2005, with a dissertation on fundamental aspects of Time Dependent Density Functional Theory.

Prior to joining ASG, she was a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her current research interest is the theoretical and experimental investigation of high-intensity x-ray pulses from x-ray free-electron lasers with atoms and molecules, with a focus on non-linear effects and quantum optics with ultrashort x-ray pulses.