MedUni Vienna: Groundbreaking ceremony for Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine

MedUni Vienna future project for research into personalized and digital medicine

Modern conditions for research into the possibilities of personalized and digital medicine are being created on more than 6000 m² at the campus of MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna. By the end of 2026, around 200 researchers at the Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine will have the ideal infrastructure to develop prevention, diagnosis and treatment methods tailored to individual patients. The institute is to be seen as a significant contribution to securing Vienna's pioneering role as a center of science. The costs of around 90 million euros will be covered by funds from the EU (€ 75 million) and the federal government as well as donations. With the ground-breaking ceremony in the presence of Science Minister Martin Polaschek, the Mayor of the City of Vienna Michael Ludwig, MedUni Vienna Rector Markus Müller and University Hospital Vienna Director Herwig Wetzlinger, this important future project continues to take shape.

Education, Science and Research Minister Martin Polaschek emphasizes the enormous importance of precision medicine as a pioneering field in medical research. This method aims to treat diseases in a targeted manner and with minimal side effects. "The newly created Eric Kandel Institute – Center for Precision Medicine in Austria offers researchers state-of-the-art facilities that are essential for future developments. Naming it after Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel underlines the importance of this center for Austria as a location for science and research. Kandel, who always maintained his ties to Austria despite persecution by the National Socialists, symbolizes not only outstanding scientific achievements, but also the history of many scientists who had to leave Austria due to political events. The new building thus stands for their memory. At the same time, it embodies a glimmer of hope for a peaceful and democratic future in which science and research can flourish."

"The new Center for Precision Medicine will make a significant contribution to ensuring that Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna continue to occupy a leading position in the global medical landscape. Although we are already benefiting from the advantages of precision medicine today, its progress is unstoppable. Diagnostics in particular, which enables significant therapeutic advances, is the focus of this development. This progress is to be transferred to various other medical specialties and intensified and expanded by the Center for Precision Medicine," explains Michael Ludwig, Mayor and Governor of Vienna. "Naming the institute after Eric Kandel, the Nobel Prize winner and honorary citizen of Vienna, not only recognizes his outstanding achievements in research, but also emphasizes his close ties to his home city of Vienna. His work was always characterized by the idea of togetherness and mutual understanding."

"The Medical University of Vienna and University Hospital Vienna are already putting the idea of personalized medicine, which is tailored to the individual needs of patients, into practice every day in numerous specialist areas," emphasizes Markus Müller, Rector of the Medical University of Vienna. "With the Eric Kandel Institute – Center for Precision Medicine on the campus of MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna, we are now creating the spatial conditions to establish Vienna even more strongly as a global pioneer in precision medicine. This new location will focus in particular on technologies that are crucial for the planning, implementation and realization of precision medicine projects. In this way, we are contributing to Vienna's innovative strength and ensuring first-class healthcare for the population."

"Precision medicine marks a fundamental change in the treatment of a wide range of diseases. It takes into account the completely individual nature of each person, shaped by genetic factors and environmental influences - comparable to a unique fingerprint - in this pioneering medical field. The close proximity of the new Eric Kandel Institute – Center for Precision Medicine and the close cooperation between MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna will make a significant contribution to ensuring that patients in Vienna and beyond can continue to benefit directly from the latest research findings and be treated according to the most modern standards of science and technology," explains Herwig Wetzlinger, Director of University Hospital Vienna.

About the Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine

The more than 6,000 m2 of floor space in the new research building will provide space for various highly specialized units for research into the possibilities of personalized and digital medicine, the two most important trends in medical science in the 21st century. For example, around 500 m2 each will be used for computer-aided biomedicine projects, technology platforms and a biobank.

From the end of 2026, around 200 researchers will use the modern infrastructure to drive forward the development of prevention, diagnosis and therapy methods that are adapted to the individual factors of individual patients. The advancing digitalization in medicine makes it possible to determine the different conditions from body to body, e.g. through genome sequencing or molecular imaging.

The Eric Kandel Institute – Center for Precision Medicine aims to strengthen and expand MedUni Vienna's pioneering role in this field. Personalized measures can be used for numerous health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, mental illnesses, cancer, metabolic, respiratory and infectious diseases.

About the name-giver Eric Kandel

With the findings from his scientific work, Eric Kandel (born 1929 in Vienna) created deep insights into the performance of human memory and a molecular understanding of mental processes and psychiatric illnesses. In 2000, he was awarded the "Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine" for his discovery of chemical and structural changes in the brains of all learning organisms, from snails to humans.

Kandel was forced to emigrate to the USA with his family in 1939 after the annexation of Austria by National Socialist Germany and was granted American citizenship in 1945. In 2009, Kandel was made an honorary citizen of the city of Vienna. In 2012, he received the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with a Star for services to the Republic of Austria, in 1994 an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna and in 2018 an honorary doctorate from the Medical University of Vienna. Kandel lives in New York.


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