Taking Charge of the LSI in Vancouver
Some opportunities only come along once in a lifetime. For example, the chance to head the renowned The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at British Columbia University in Vancouver. With 86 research groups, it is the largest institute of its kind in Canada and one of the best science centres in the world. As of December 2018, genetic engineer Josef Penninger will take over the management of the renowned institution.
Canada is not a foreign country for the native Austrian. Shortly after his doctorate, he taught and conducted research at the Department of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto and discovered that osteoporosis is genetically determined. Based on this discovery, the drug "Denosumab" was developed, which can alleviate the disease by blocking a special protein. In 2003, Penninger returned to Austria, where he took over the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA). Under his leadership the IMBA soon made a name for itself in biomedical basic research. Here he succeeded in establishing a connection between osteoporosis and breast cancer.
In 2007, Penninger was awarded the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine for his outstanding work. Over the next five years, he will be conducting research at the LSI to determine whether "Denosumab" could also be successfully used in breast cancer prevention.