The new building next to Inn river

Why do we need a Biocenter at Innsbruck Medical University? Why do we want central resources and why is it better to share technology and supporting facilities? How does it relate to the ten individual institutes that founded the Biocenter? These are the kind of questions that we have been asked since we started the Biocenter in January 2005 and these are some answers:

The Biocenter is a Department where Innsbruck Medical University has put together scientists with different experiences, working with different genetic model organisms or biochemical systems but with the common goal to contribute as much as possible to a molecular understanding of diseases. Innsbruck has a unique campus structure where the research institutes of both Universities are centered around the University hospital. This fosters medically relevant research and provides the grounds for developing personalized medicine in Innsbruck. The Bioenter is also the nucleation point and main contributor of such recently established strategies such as the special research project SFB021 "Cell Proliferation and Cell Death in Tumors", the international graduate program in "Molecular Cell Biology and Oncology" (MCBO) or the "k1" Competence Center for Personalized Medicine, ONCOTYROL. In the last seven years, the Biocenter has become a visible landmark within biomedical research in Austria and was also internationally recognized, as can be seen by the successful participation in and the coordination of several large EU projects (e.g. GROWTHSTOP) as well as nationally funded research consortia (e.g. Austrian Proteomics Platform, non-coding RNA Platform, GEN-AU). The Biocenter is proud off its talented young scientists. Besides many research prizes our scientists received, the Biocenter harbors four winners of the START prize, i.e. Alexandra Lusser, Norbert Polacek, Andreas Villunger and David Teis, which is the most prestigious distinction for young scientists in Austria.

An important step towards achieving these goals was the transition into a center structure with sharing of facilities and resources. Momentum was gained by common activities such as retreats, the Biocenter seminar series for postdocs and students and the yearly Biocenter party. We have embarked on a stony but also rewarding way, however, we have not reached our goal yet. The next major building block for a competitive research structure in Innsbruck will be the new life science building at the river site, which is very close to the University of Innsbruck and the University hospital. Together with chemists and pharmacists of the University, the Biocenter will contribute to this largest life science cluster in the western part of Austria. This is a historical chance for Innsbruck to further foster our collaborations and to take the utmost advantage of the campus structure in order to make another important step towards our goal, i.e. international visibility. The progress the Biocenter has made in the last 6 years is testament to the commitment of many people connected with us.