In her role as the Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs, Manuela aims to foster international collaborations and to sharpen the research profile of the University of Vienna. She will focus on strengthening and expanding the existing system of graduate schools and on recruiting and empowering young talented scientists from PhD students to Junior Group Leaders.
After a successful career in research, what is your motivation to take up this new challenge?
I love my research but I am also very curious to learn about other aspects of science that go beyond what I have been doing in my career so far. I'm very interested in societal challenges, in humanities, in art - but also in science management. In the new role they all come together, it's a challenge I just could not resist.
Your vice-rectorate will be responsible for 15 faculties and 5 centers from different fields of science. How will you connect with them?
The new role will broaden my own view of science beyond life sciences. My goal is to encourage integration of disciplines throughout the university and to bring different areas together. I want to encourage trans-disciplinary projects that include as many different fields as possible. There is huge potential at the interface between the disciplines, and in my new role, I want to help the university to capitalize on this potential.
Having many years of international experience yourself, what will be your focus with regards to international affairs?
Throughout my career I have been responsible for various international PhD programs and doctoral schools, and I am convinced that attracting and empowering young talent from PhD to junior group leaders is a powerful motor for internationalization. In addition to fostering the recruitment of international talent on an individual basis, I am looking forward to strengthening existing collaborations with Universities all over the world, and establishing new ones.
About Manuela Baccarini and her research
Manuela’s research focuses on cellular signaling by the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway. Constitutive activation of the pathway is a key event in several human malignancies and developmental disorders. Manuela’s lab recently received a major grant from the Austrian Science Fund and will continue to decipher signaling pathways and the functional consequences of their perturbations.
Manuela Baccarini is full Professor of Cell Signaling at the Max Perutz Labs, a member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Manuela has held several management positions in teaching and research. Manuela joined the University of Vienna in 1994 and was Vice Dean of the Max Perutz Labs from 2007 to 2017 and led the doctoral school “Molecules of Life” from 2016 to 2021. Currently she is the Director of the Vienna BioCenter PhD Program, a graduate school of the University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna, and the speaker of the FWF-funded PhD Program “Signaling Mechanisms in Cellular Homeostasis”.