Speaker's Welcome

WF PICKL 2013Welcome to the web-site of the PhD-Program Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergology, MCCA, of the Medical University of Vienna and the Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria. Students who decide to pursue their PhD degree within the MCCA program will have the exceptional possibility of obtaining profound insights into cutting-edge clinical medicine while at the same time becoming deeply immersed into pertinent questions of molecular and cellular allergology. Depending on the track the actual PhD-student’s project will be located in, aspects of either molecular, cellular or clinical allergology will be the dominating theme. Compulsory training within the two complementary tracks will round-up education and training of individual students and ensure that a holistic view of the entire discipline, i.e. allergology, is obtained eventually.

The goal of our PhD program is to select, educate and promote the best possible PhD students in the field of allergy research and to strengthen long-term perspectives of allergy research in Austria but also abroad and to develop innovative strategies for diagnosis, therapy and prevention of allergic diseases. The faculty members mentoring the individual PhD-projects have been carefully selected to cover the field of allergology starting from the disease-causing allergen molecules, the allergen-specific immune responses in vitro and in vivo to the clinical application and should thus guarantee an educational program spanning the entire field of allergology. The activities within the proposed DK shall foster the sustained development of allergy research at the Medical University of Vienna and the Veterinary University of Vienna.

The MCCA program is currently operated by 16 dedicated Faculty Members (9 female, 7 male) comprising a truly interdisciplinary mix. MCCA staff covering besides most basic science aspects (i.e. molecular biology, protein chemistry, structural biology, cell biology, animal models) also medical aspects of dermatology, respiratory diseases and ENT, hematology, immunology, pathophysiology, laboratory medicine and pediatric allergies including food allergy are represented. Despite this interdisciplinary setting, the strong dedication to allergy research is the unifying principle bringing individual researchers with such seemingly unrelated backgrounds closely together. It is their common aim to combat an important disease, i.e. IgE-associated allergy, and to develop in a concerted effort, novel strategies for diagnosis, prevention and cure.

Besides an ambitious and intensive training program, MCCA offers a personalized mentoring-environment for the individual student based on intra and extramural scientists and members of the international scientific advisory board (ISAB) providing support, advice as well as further career-planning. Moreover, the program has committed itself to provide plenty of opportunities to the PhD-students to ‘meet and mingle’ (retreats, symposia, allergy club meetings, happy hours) in order to provide the necessary social framework for a happy and fulfilling life within MCCA.

Winfried F. PICKL, M.D.