Key researchers involved in Exposome Austria

Prof. Dr. Benedikt Warth, University of Vienna (lead)

Benedikt Warth is Associate Professor at the University of Vienna, where he founded the 'Global Exposomics and Biomonitoring' working group in 2017. Before returning to Austria, he was an Erwin-Schrödinger fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California where he developed and applied novel metabolomics technology to research questions in the field of cancer research and systems toxicology. His research focus is in the area of omics-scale exposure assessment and analytical food chemistry to better understand the in vivo and in vitro effects of environmental and food contaminants. He has received eight scientific awards including the Young Investigators Award from the Austrian Society of Analytical Chemistry and is (co-)author of 100+ peer-reviewed publications. 

Prof. Dr. Gunda Koellensperger, University of Vienna

Gunda Koellensperger is an analytical chemist focusing on method development in mass spectrometry. Her expertise covers elemental/metal trace analysis, metabolomics and lipidomics. In mass spectrometry based omics-type of Analysis, she focuses on the development of quantification strategies and new streamlined high throughput workflows enabling both absolute quantification, i.e. targeted -omics as well as non-targeted -omics. More recently she got involved in single cell analysis by elemental imaging. · Dr. Maria Uhl, Environmental Agency Austria (co-lead) Maria Uhl is a toxicologist with 20+ years of experience in human and environmental monitoring and risk assessment. She is national coordinator of the Austrian HBM Platform and the national hub within the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative HBM4EU.

Maria Uhl is Chemical Group Lead of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) within HBM4EU and member of the PFAS working group at ECHA

Maria Uhl was a member of the EU-LCI group, which was established by EC-JRC, Ispra, to derive EU-wide harmonised health based reference values for assessing product emissions. · Dr. Sigrid Scharf, Environmental Agency Austria, Laboratories Sigrid Scharf is head of EAA-Laboratories and has more than 30 years expert knowledge in the field of environmental analysis (analysis techniques, sampling, sample preparation and quality assurance). She will be replaced within EIRENE with the new head of research and innovation unit within EAA laboratories. She is working on projects in the field of environment, health and material flows with varying analytical issues and media. Analysis, occurrence and fate of priority and emerging substances in urban waste water treatment plants, wastewater and surface waters, soil, plants, and sewage sludge.

Prof. Dr. Eva Schernhammer, Medical University of Vienna and Harvard School of Public Health

Eva Schernhammer is Professor of Epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna and head of the Department of Epidemiology. Besides, she holds an Adjunct Professorship of Medicine (Harvard Medical School) and Epidemiology (Harvard School of Public Health). Her major scientific contributions have highlighted the effects of light at night on cancer risk through the melatonin pathway. This work has led to the establishment of a new classification of shift work as a probable human carcinogen by WHO in 2007. Schernhammer holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vienna Medical School, a Doctor of Public Health degree (epidemiology) from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Science degree in psychology from the University of Vienna. She completed her medical training in Vienna and practiced for several years in hematology/oncology before becoming interested in cancer prevention.

Dr. Lukas Wisgrill, Medical University of Vienna

Lukas Wisgrill is a resident at the Division of Neonatology and the Pediatric Intensive Care and Neuropediatrics Unit. His current research interests include the neonatal exposome and microbiome and the influence on inflammation and development of extreme premature infants. Further research includes the ontogeny of the neonatal immune system as well as the trained immunity during the transitional phase from fetal to the postnatal immune system. Currently, he uses system biology approaches to decipher the role of host-microbiome interactions in viral susceptibility in nasal 3D epithelial models.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Gundacker, Medical University of Vienna

Claudia Gundacker is biologist and Associate Professor at the Institute of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Vienna. She is interested in medical ecology and environmental health. After five human biomonitoring studies in which perinatal exposure to environmental pollutants was investigated, the focus is now on metabolism and transport of metals (mercury, iron, lead, cadmium) and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the human placenta. In the search for proteins involved in placental kinetics, she combines human biomonitoring (HBM) and genetics with basic research on placental (patho)physiology. The aim is to identify genetic variants that are causally related to placental dysfunction and associated pregnancy diseases. A main goal of another research project on placental iron metabolism is the development of an improved therapy for premature babies with low iron levels.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Oberacher, Medical University of Innsbruck

Herbert Oberacher is an Analytical Chemist and Associate Professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine of MUI. Furthermore, he is the scientific head of MUI's Core Facility Metabolomics. His research focuses on the development of advanced techniques for the analysis of small molecules dedicated to applications in forensic, biological, pharmaceutical, and environmental research. Oberacher has 15+ years expertise in the development and application of tandem mass spectral libraries. Pioneering contributions paved the way for tandem mass spectral databases to become generally-accepted identification tools. He has published tandem mass spectral libraries together with corporate partners (Wiley, Lipomed). Oberacher has 10+ years of expertise in applying non-targeted screening with tandem mass spectral library search as service for identification of different kinds of chemicals in biological and environmental samples.



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