Moves & Milestones

Bridges vol. 41, October 2014 / Moves and Milestones 

BRIDGES presents career steps and other outstanding events in the professional lives of Austrian scientists and scholars in the US and Canada.

Luise Descovich

is now a medical science liaison at AbbVie Austria, combining her project management experience and scientific expertise to bridge the gap between industry and basic research. She was previously a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Descovich received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Vienna, focusing on neuroscience research.






Dominik Duscher

is now an associate of medicine at bioStratica, LLC. He is working in the emerging field of regenerative medicine and stem cell technology. He was inspired by the perspective of combining basic research in the area of tissue and organ regeneration with clinical plastic and reconstructive surgery, then decided to pursue a career as a surgeon-scientist and began his Ph.D. studies in stem cell biology. Duscher was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Stanford University, where he researched soft tissue regeneration, stem cell heterogeneity, and novel biomaterials for cell-based therapies.





Eva Fast

won the 2014 Belamarich Seminar Award. She was selected as the winner due to an outstanding doctoral dissertation in biology for her work on: "Wolbachia Dynamically Affect Cellular Events during Drosophila Oogenesis and Coordinate Infection of the Germline Stem Cell Niche with Host Development." Fast is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the Zon Laboratory.





Dietrich Haubenberger

returned to the US and became director and staff scientist at the NIH Office of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Haubenberger was formerly a clinical investigator and staff neurologist in the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of Vienna, as well as a visiting fellow in the lab of Mark Hallet at the Human Motor Control Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH. He was a recipient of the Erwin Schroedinger fellowship award by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), which brought him to NIH. He was also the chapter head for the ASciNA Chapter Greater Washington, DC. Haubenberger graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Vienna, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Sleep Benefit in Parkinson's Disease.”




Mario Herger

published his new book Enterprise Gamification which was listed as a bestseller on the German Amazon store a week after being published. Herger is the founder and partner at Enterprise Gamification Consultancy and also serves on the Expert Panel for the European Commission, Advanced Digital Gaming & Gamification Technologies Program (H2020) as well as being the founder & CEO of the Austrian Innovation Center Silicon Valley (AICSV). In addition to this, he founded the Innovation Center Danube, which helps Austrian and CEE startups, companies, and individuals to connect with the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley.





Peter Hosemann  

was promoted  to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. He and his team work on mechanical properties and microstructural changes of materials under radiation as well as in unusual corrosive environments like liquid metals. Hosemann received his Ph.D. from the Montanuniversität Leoben. He spent several years at Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining UC Berkeley in 2010, where he is responsible for the materials group with a focus on materials in extreme environments, specifically nuclear environments.




Christian Posch

has become a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University as a dermatologist with a focus on basic and clinical research, mainly in dermato-oncology, skin cancer, immunology, and cancer signaling. He is also a co-investigator of several global clinical trials, consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, and a teacher, lecturer, and presenter.







Jonathan Rameseder

is now a data scientist with Apple working on recommendation problems, which involve machine learning, applied statistics, and software engineering. He received his Ph.D. in computational biology at MIT and spent his academic career developing machine-learning methods to analyze a hyperdimensional HCS dataset with over 2000 genes and over 1800 features. Rameseder also helped with discovering unknown components of the DNA damage response network using rule learning and logistic regression with LASSO regularization to train a statistical classifie






Sonja Schmid

won the 2014 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Development (CAREER) Award to study the prospects and problems of creating a global nuclear emergency response plan. Inspired by the failure of Japan’s Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, she will focus her research on how to convince the world that any nuclear accident is the world’s problem and how to mobilize an effective international response. The grant of about $420,000 over five years will give her the means to develop a research, education, and outreach program for the next generation of nuclear emergency responders. Schmid is currently also an assistant professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.





Martin Sikora

started a new position at the University of Copenhagen after finishing his post doc at Stanford. Sikora has been a research fellow in the Stanford School of Medicine’s Department of Genetics. He also previously led a team of geneticists that discovered that the 5,000-year-old Neolithic mummy, Ötzi, was part of a band of roaming farmers who covered terrain all the way from the Middle East up to Finland. 






Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer

began a position as chief of nephrology at Baylor College of Medicine. He was previously an associate professor of medicine, health, and research policy at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Winkelmayer received his Doctor of Medicine from Vienna University and became a joint BWH-MGH Nephrology Fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he earned a doctorate in Science in Health Policy and Management.