Med Uni Graz
Medical University of Graz is associated with the University Clinics of Graz, with 1,600 beds and 87,000 patients/year. This facilitates close integration of research and routine clinical services. Med Uni Graz has over 1,500 researchers and more than 5,600 research projects.
An important asset of the Med Uni Graz is its ISO-certified biobank (Biobank Graz) core-facility, one of the largest clinical biobanks in Europe, hosting biological samples from in total 1.2 million patients. These biological resources are complemented by detailed medical data and latest analytical technologies (next generation sequencing, proteomics and metabolomics platforms). Because ethics is a very important core value of Biobank Graz, the use of the biological material is restricted to ethically and scientifically approved research and requires informed consents in which patients give their permission for research using the samples and data they provide and approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Graz.
Med Uni Graz was a major initiator and driver of the development of the pan-European Biobanking Research Infrastructure BBMRI-ERICand coordinated the BBMRI-ERIC preparatory phase. Since 2013, Med Uni Graz coordinates BBMRI.at, the Austrian national node of BBMRI-ERIC. BBMRI.atis funded by the Austrian government GZ-10.470/0016-II/3/2013 and BMBFW-10.470/0010-V/3c/2018 (funding periods 2013-2018 and 2018-2023, respectively). Its consortium currently consists of eight universities including all public medical universities in Austria (i.e. Medical University of Graz, Vienna, Innsbruck, and the medical faculty at the Johannes Kepler University Linz), the private Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the two non-medical partners University of Vienna and Alpen Adria University bringing in ELSI and IT expertise, respectively.
BBMRI.at has a strong focus on patient / citizen engagement in form of dedicated work packages in its work programme and in form of public activities by its consortium partners and their biobanks, particularly of Med Uni Graz and its biobank ‘Biobank Graz’.
Med Uni Graz participates in the Austria-wide “Long Night of Research”, an event bringing research/researchers closer to the public. Other public activities of Med Uni Graz include for example guided biobank tours for citizens, Biobanking – Pathology – Research University Workshops for children (from kindergarten to primary and secondary school). These workshop activities have recently been awarded with a “Special Price for Public Relations”. Furthermore, Med Uni Graz participated as a protagonist in the documentary cinema movie “Golden Genes” on biobanks as infrastructures for research and invited to a panel discussion at the premiere of the movie in cinema and was recently also in several movies about COVID-19 (see reports at www.BBMRI.at/news).
Concerning the staff involved in the project, Med Uni Graz will mainly rely on:
Cornelia Stumptner (f) is manager of the BBMRI.at project since 2013 and is employed at Med Uni Graz, Diagnostic & Research Institute of Pathology. She holds a Master’s degree in international management, a degree in Biomedical Analytics and a certificate in academic didactics. Before her management position in BBMRI.at, C. Stumptner has been working in biomedical research at Med Uni Graz for more than 15 years. She is part time lecturer at University of Applied Sciences Campus02 (Graz, Austria) since 2007 and holds lectures at the Master of Science (MSc) for Biobanking at Med Uni Graz and in educational courses on biobanking.
Since 2018, she is member of the Austrian Standards Institute, CEN Technical Committee (TC) 140/WG3 ‘Quality management in medical laboratories’, ISO/TC212/WG4 and ISO/TC276/WG2 ‘Biobanks and bioresources’. Moreover, she contributes to the development of CEN/TS and ISO standards for pre-analytical patient sample processing (in the H2020 project SPIDIA (for personalized medicine (SPIDIA4P).
Kurt Zatloukal is full Professor of Pathology and Director of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular BioMedicine at MUG and is director of the Austrian national node BBMRI.at of the European Biobanking and bioMolecular research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC).
His research focusses on molecular pathology of diseases as well as pre-analytical requirements for –omics technologies. He has published 261 scientific papers and was co-inventor of 25 patent applications.
He is member of the Austrian Standards Institute and delegate in CEN and ISO Technical Committees, contributing to the development of new European standards and norms for pre-analytical processing of samples for molecular testing. He is member of the scientific board for genetic testing and human gene therapy at the Austrian Ministry of Health.
Moreover, he contributed to the regulations for genetic testing of the Austrian Gene Technology Law, and is Member of the Academia Europaea.