Key Note Speakers

Joe Adams

Scientific Leader, API Chemistry

Joe Adams is a Scientific Leader and GSK Fellow at GlaxoSmithKline based within the Global API Chemistry department at GSK’s European R&D hub at Stevenage, England with a particular interest in Industrial Biotechnology.  He is a functional lead for small molecule candidates within the Product Development and Supply division.  He has a  strong belief in open innovation and is involved in mutliple large collaborations in Europe looking at new technologies for sustainable synthesis including biocatalysis and synthetic biology. Adams has more than 23 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry.

Matthias Beller

Matthias Beller studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen, Germany, where he completed his PhD thesis in 1989. In 1996 he moved to the TU München as Associate Professor. In 1998 he relocated to the University of Rostock to head the Institute for Organic Catalysis (IfOK) and to become full Professor for Catalysis at the University of Rostock. His scientific work has been published in more than 350 original publications and review articles. Since 2006 Beller is director of the newly formed Leibniz-Institute for Catalysis, which is the largest governmental research institute for applied catalysis in Europe.

Torben Vedel Borchert

Vice President and Head of Discovery

Torben Vedel Borchert heads the Discovery organization in Novozymes; the unit that delivers the new product candidates within enzymes and microorganisms for and in close collaboration with all business units in the company. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and has 25 years of work experience in molecular biology, protein chemistry and protein engineering from both academia and industry including EMBL – European Molecular Biology Laboratory, The Technical University of Denmark, Novo Nordisk A/S and E.I. Dupont. Since 1999 the positions have been within industrial leadership of research. Borchert has published more than 50 peer-review scientific papers and has co-authored a similar number of patents.

Nico Callewaert

Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Center for Medical Biotechnology (VIB-UGent)

Nico Callewaert is director of the VIB-UGent at the Center for Medical Biotechnology. He recieved his PhD from University of Ghent in 2002. After doing research as a Post-Doc at ETH Zürich, Switzerland he acted as Group leader based on the research topic medical biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals and vaccines and became a full professor and Science Director in 2014. Callewaert was honored by the Marie Curie Excellence Grant and the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant.

Manfred T. Reetz

External emeritus group leader of the Mülheim Max-Planck-Institute and
Hans-Meerwein-Research-Professor at Philipps-University Marburg

Manfred T. Reetz is currently external emeritus group leader of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (MPI) and simultaneously Hans-Meerwein-Research-Professor at the University of Marburg/Germany. Previously he was director at the MPI for two decades, and before that he held a chair for synthetic organic chemistry in Marburg. For the last two decades his group has concentrated on directed evolution of selective enzymes.

Weichang Zhou

Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Biologics Development and Manufacturing

Weichang Zhou received his PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from University of Hannover, Germany in 1989. He is a well-recognized technical and managerial leader with more than 20 years of broad industrial experience and demonstrated accomplishments in biologics (recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies and viral vaccines) manufacturing process development, scale-up, characterization, technology transfer, manufacturing and regulatory support. Currently Zhou is leading a biologics development team of more than 600 scientists and engineers providing integrated biologics services in Shanghai and Wuxi, China.


Marco van den Berg

Principal Scientist Applied Biochemistry and Screening

Marco van den Berg is Principal Scientist in Applied Biochemistry and Screening, with expertise in the application of enzymes in industrial processes. He focuses on identifying the limitations of current processes and opportunities for new processes.  Van den Berg has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and his work led to a similar number of patent applications. He participated in various national and international Public Private Partnerships, some more fundamental and some more applied research.

Willem J. H. van Berkel

Professor Molecular Enzymology
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Wageningen University

Willem J. H. van Berkel is full Professor of Molecular Enzymology at Wageningen University. He has made major contributions in the biochemistry, biocatalysis and chemical biology of (redox) enzymes and holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. In addition to his scholarly work, he has made important contributions to the community through his service on the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Dutch Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NVBMB), and the Federation of the European Biochemical Society (FEBS). He is also a dedicated teacher, mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral associates. He published more than 200 scientific publications and 70 book chapters about his research.

Peter van den Besselaar

Chief Business Officer, Professor of Organisations Sciences

Peter van den Besselaar is full professor of Organisation Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Network Institute and Institute for Societal Resilience. His current research focuses on the organisation, governance and dynamics of science, technology and innovation; on science and innovation policy; and on the use of big data and information technologies in social science. Van den Besselaar holds a PhD in Social Informatics, Faculty of Psychology and an MSc in Social Philosophy, and a BSc Mathematics. He published more than 200 articles, book chapters, books and policy reports about his research.

Angelika Bodenteich

Head Development

Angelika Bodenteich is Head Development of Marinomed since 2010.
She has an excellent track record in pharma and medical device product development, clinical studies, regulatory, registration, quality and vigilance. After spending several years in research (NIMH, USA), she worked in positions for large pharma companies such as Nycomed as well as for the Austrian public company Sanochemia and a small start‐up. Angelika is graduated MD. from the University of Graz, Austria, with specialty in pathology.

Trygve Brautaset

Professor in Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Trygve Brautaset is professor in synthetic biology at Department of Biotechnology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Brautaset is also Director for Centre for Digital Life Norway; a national Centre for transdisciplinary research, education and innovation and representing the largest single investment taken by the Research Council of Norway on biotechnology. Brautaset has his research focus on microbial molecular biology, and in particular he has more than 15 years’ experience on C1 metabolism focusing on the methylotrophic bacterium Bacillus methanolicus.

Neil Brewis

Chief Scientific Officer

Neil Brewis is Chief Scientific Officer at F-star Biotechnology which focuses on creating clinical benefit using bispecific antibodies in the field of immuno-oncology. He has 20 years experience in drug discovery and development and has successfully led a growing portfolio of antibody, antibody fragment and recombinant protein therapeutics from concept to clinical development. He joined F-star from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where he was Vice President, Head of Biopharmaceutical Research. Brewis is an Honorary Doctor of Science from Hertfordshire University and sits on the BBSRC Council. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Dundee University, UK.

John Cumbers


John Cumbers is founder of SynBioBeta, a global activity hub and community of entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and investors. He is also the co-author of the forthcoming book “What’s Your Bio Strategy?”, a guide for any business wanting to understand the impact that biotechnology will have on their industry. Cumbers has been involved in multiple start-ups such as those producing food for space, microbes to extract lunar and martian resources, and hoverboards. He worked at NASA for seven years on the issues of resource utilization, extremophiles and sustainable technologies. He was instrumental in starting NASA’s program in synthetic biology and most recently, the lead for planetary sustainability at the NASA Space Portal.

Christopher Dean

Vice President of Biotechnology and Process Engineering
Corporate R&D,  Firmenich S.A.

Chris obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in Organic Chemistry and Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool in 1981. He then spent 6 years working for Beecham Pharmaceuticals, which is now part of GSK. He joined Firmenich Corporate R&D in 1987 which, at the same time, created a Department of Biotechnology and was responsible for the development/scale-up labs and pilot plant. In 1994 he took over the leadership of the biotechnology department, which was focused largely on the development of natural flavours using wild-type enzymes and micro-organisms. Dean promoted the use of biocatalysis as a tool for general organic chemical synthesis. Recent success from the Firmenich team include the launch of Clearwood® for which Firmenich received the prestigious SEPAWA award for innovation in 2016. 

Christina Donat

Technical Director & Substitutional COO biotechnology

Christina Donat is working since 2005 for the Austrian company bio-ferm. Currently she is coordinating the registration and the R&D as Technical Director of the company. bio-ferm is producing, registering and selling biotechnological plant protection products. The company is part of teh Erber group, a family owned business located in Austria. Donat holds a PhD in Agronomy, she did her studies at the university of natural resources and applied life sciences in Vienna.

Peter Dürre

Professor of Microbiology and Director of Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology

Peter Dürre is Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology. Research of his group focuses on obligately anaerobic bacteria, with documented experience in the field of clostridial physiology and genetics. Another Research field is the use of syngas (CO/H2 mixtures) and CO2/H2 mixtures, especially from waste gas streams or biomass conversion.

Vincent Eijsink

Vincent Eijsink is Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He and his group work mainly on production, engineering, characterisation and application of proteins and enzymes. They aim at combining high-level basic research with applied studies and innovation and are currently founded by NMBU, The Research Council of Norway (NFR), EU, Industry, Vista, Norden and ECR.

Gloria Esposito

Chief Executive Officer Austrianni GmbH
Chief Technical Officer at Trianni Inc.

Gloria Esposito obtained her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Cologne, Germany, and then held a position as Investigator. The major focus of her research was on lymphocyte development and antibody maturation. She moved from academia to the pharmaceutical company Organon, where she led an in vivo drug target validation group. At Taconic she established and led the Scientific Project Management and Sales Team. She is the CEO of Austrianni and CTO of Trianni. At Trianni she leads the technology development of the novel human antibody platforms.

Suzanne Farid

Professor in Bioprocess Systems Engineering

Suzanne Farid is Professor of Bioprocess Systems Engineering at the University College London. She leads research into novel computer-based decision-support tools that provide systematic foundations to help companies make better decisions where there is inevitable uncertainty in process performance, market projections and clinical success rates. The research focuses on establishing and integrating models on bioprocess economics, manufacturing logistics, dynamic simulation, uncertainty analysis, multi-objective decision-making and combinatorial optimization. Farid holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering.

Wolf-Dieter Fessner

Professor Organic Chemistry
Wolf-Dieter Fessner obtained his PhD in 1986 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow with George Whitesides (Harvard University) and George Olah (USC, L.A.). Before moving to his current position in 1998, he was professor at RWTH Aachen. His research interests are in the area of biocatalysts for applications in organic synthesis, with particular emphasis on the discovery and development of novel enzymes for stereoselective carbon-carbon bond forming reactions and the synthesis of complex oligosaccharides. Currently Fessner is coordinating the Horizon2020 project CarbaZymes.

Markus Fido

CEO and Business Development

Besides serving as CEO and Founder of VelaLabs, Markus Fido has also taken responsibilities as a Head of Regulatory Affairs within the Quality Operations team. Additionally, he is in charge of business development items and client relations topics. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry, with focus in vaccines, recombinant proteins and immune therapeutics. He has profound expertise in regulatory aspects such as third party audits, authority inspections and GMP guidelines.

Juliane Fischer

Independent Journalist
e.g. Die Presse Science / Innovation

Juliane Fischer is a freelance Journalist, based in Vienna. She writes about Science and Innovation, portrays young researchers and often focuses on topics regarding sustainability and changes though digitalisation. She works for the Austrian Daily Newspaper ,Die Presse‘, the weekly papers ,Furche’ and ,Falter’, the platform ,Der Brutkasten‘ and different magazines.

Jean Marie Francois

Professor of Industrial Microbiology and Bionanotechnology

Jean Marie Francois is Professor of Industrial Microbiology and Bionanotechnology at the University of Toulouse. Since 1993 he leads a research group working on integrated Physiology and Functional genomics with focus on synthetic and refactoring microbial metabolism. He is author and co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, holds 15 patents, and co-founderof a start-up in Bionanotechnology (Dendris, SAS). Other activities include Chief Editor of BMC Biotechnology for Biofuels, Editor Associate of FEMS Yeast Research, Molecular Cell and Frontiers in Synthetic Biology, consultancy for Biotech companies, etc.


Raffael Fritz

Managing Editor

Raffael Fritz is Managing Editor at Red Bull Media House. Red Bull Media House GmbH is an international media company  that prints, publishes and distributes magazines such as the Terra Mater magazine. Raffael Fritz works as an editor for this Austrian science magazine Terra Mater. He has ten years of science and technology reporting under his belt, primarily as a freelance writer, but also as a reporter for the Austrian public radio station Ö1. His interests range from prehistory to space travel.

Birgitta Gassner

European Patent Attorney

Birgitta Gassner, a European Patent Attorney and patent litigator, is a team member of REDL Life Science Patent Attorneys. She has a long-term industry experience in the fields of chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry. Birgitta’s primary focus is on patent prosecution in the pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, and life science sectors. Her main expertise is in the fields of organic and biochemistry, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Wolfgang Glänzel

Director Centre for R&D Monitoring (ECOOM) and Professor of Quantitative Science Studies
Faculty of Economics and Business, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Wolfgang Glänzel is Director of the Centre for R&D Monitoring and Full Professor at KU Leuven. He is also affiliated with the Dept. Science Policy & Scientometrics at the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. He holds a doctorate in mathematics as well as a PhD in the Social Sciences. Glänzel has published about 400 journal papers, proceedings contributions and book chapters.  In 1999 he received the international Derek deSolla Price Award for outstanding contributions to the quantitative studies of science. Glänzel is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Scientometrics since 2014 and Academic Editor of the multidisciplinary OA journal PLOS ONE since 2013.

Christian Gruber

Senior Scientist, acib GmbH
Co Founder, InnoPhore GmbH

Christian Gruber holds a PhD in bioorganic chemistry and structural biology. He was a postdoc at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences in Graz, before he switched to the Cluster of Excellence “Simulation Technology” at the Institute for Technical Biochemistry at the University of Stuttgart. Now he is working at the Austrian Centre for Industrial Biotechnology in the field of Protein Design & Engineering. In 2016, Gruber and colleagues founded Innophore – a biotech start-up company that commercializes the Catalophore enzyme discovery technology.

Sepp Hochreiter

Professor & Head of Institute of Bioinformatics

Sepp Hochreiter is a pioneer of Deep Learning and best known for developing the long short term memory (LSTM) and is currently heading the Institute of Bioinformatics at the Johannes University of Linz. LSTMs have emerged as the best-performing techniques in speech and language processing where they achieved several benchmark records. His current research projects include Deep Learning for drug design, for text and language analysis, for vision, and in particular for autonomous driving.

Stefan Hornbostel

Head of Research Area Research System and Science Dynamics (DZHW)
Professor at the Department of Social Sciences (HU Berlin)

Stefan Hornbostel studied Social Sciences and holds a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin. He worked at the Universities of Kassel, Cologne, Jena and Dortmund, as well as at the Center of Higher Education Development. He was appointed Professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Social Sciences (Science Studies) in 2005. Since 2016, he is head of the research area “Research System and Science Dynamics” at the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). His research interests lie in in the field of science studies, bibliometrics, and elite sociology.

Goražd Hribar

Research Scientist

Goražd Hribar holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He joined Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals in 2012 as a scientist in Downstream Process Development and currently he is also project manager of EU funded project entitled “Next-generation biopharmaceutical downstream process”. Previously he was employed as a researcher at National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia, where he is still partially employed and was also a member of Board of Governors. He is also a cofounder of a start-up company IchorLabs d.o.o. His current focus is on development of biosimilars and continuous manufacturing.

M. Haïssam Jijakli

Professor in Urban Agriculture and Plant Pathology,
Manager of Integrated and Urban Plant Pathology Research Laboratory

M. Haïssam Jijakli is Professor and Responsible of Integrated and Urban Plant Pathology Laboratory (Liège University). During the last 25 years, he developed biocontrol methods based on (micro)-organisms and their derivatives to protect plants against phytopathogens. In urban agriculture, he is developing plant production systems adapted to urban environment based on hydroponic and aquaponics techniques. His concern is to create a strong link between public and industrial worlds in order to implement novel techniques economically and socially affordable for agriculture/horticulture sectors and consumers.

Rene De Jong

Senior Scientist Applied Biochemistry

Following a PhD training in structural biology, molecular modeling & simulation at the University of Groningen, and four years of post-doctoral training in the field of protein engineering and directed evolution at Columbia University in New York City, he currently combines both worlds as a Senior Scientist at DSM Biotechnology Center in Delft, The Netherlands. He is driving innovation in application-oriented projects in food technology and biotechnology for the bio-based economy, as well as in technology-oriented research projects aimed at protein engineering technology development.

Randolf Kerschbaumer

Head Oncology Research

Randolf J. Kerschbaumer obtained a degree in biotechnology and a PhD in molecular biology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Kerschbaumer has eighteen years of experience in research and development of therapeutics in a pharma organization in areas of inflammation, cancer and hematologic disorders. He is currently the head of Oncology Research at Shire, Austria, and the major focus of his work is the development of recombinant antibodies with therapeutic potential in immuno-oncology.

Reinhard Kirnbauer

Professor of Dermatology, Laboratory of Viral Oncology Division of Immunology,
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (DIAID), Department of Dermatology

Reinhard Kirnbauer acts as chief of the Laboratory of Viral Oncology, and has an appointment as a Professor at the Department of Dermatology. He is recognized for over 20 years of pioneering work on the development of prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, seroepidemiology, and basic aspects of papillomavirus infection. His inventions were licensed by MSD and GSK to permit them to develop and produce the current HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix. In June 2014 he has been awarded support by the PREVENT Cancer Program, National Cancer Institute, NIH and Bethesda.

Otfried Kistner

Senior Consultant & Independent Vaccine Expert
Vienna, Austria

Otfried Kistner is currently working as Senior Consultant for several international and national companies and organisations. He has more than 30 years of experience in conducting scientific research in the fields of virology and over 25 years in industrial vaccine development. In his different executive R&D management positions he had also main responsibilities in defining and organizing the serology of clinical studies and being the R&D point of contact for internal and external relationships.

Bernhard Koch

Team Leader Transfer and Technology

Bernhard Koch holds a Master Degree in Technical Chemistry, with a focus on Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Currently he heads the Technology Transfer activities at Universität für Bodenkultur in Wien, Austria, establishing “up to date” Technology Transfer Services at BOKU; implementing professional IPR – exploitation activities and Strengthening the TT-Manager network in Austria. Koch also worked as Project Manager at KWI Consultants & Engineers AG in Austria and Project Engineer and Techtransfer Manager at Centre for Technology Transfer Bremerhaven in Germany.

Harald König

Senior Scientist
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Harald König holds a PhD in biology and works as a senior scientist at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. His work focuses on societal, economic and political challenges of emerging biotechnologies. He co-authored the report on synthetic biology for the German Parliament and currently heads the ‘Research and Policy Platform’ in the EU-funded SYNENERGENE project on ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ in synthetic biology.

Clemens Lakner

Associate Life Sciences Merck Ventures

Clemens Lakner is an Associate in the Life Science team of Merck Ventures. He received his MSc in biological science from Vienna University and his PhD from Florida State University. He continued his scientific work as a postdoc at North Carolina State University and holds an MBA from Aston Business School in Birmingham, UK. Prior to Merck Ventures Clemens worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.

Oliver Lehmann

and President of the Educational and Administrative Facility Club

Oliver Lehmann, Head of the Department of Stakeholder Relations at IST Austria, also works as a freelance author, president of the Association of Education and Science Journalists and Honorary Secretary of the European Federation of Science Journalists (EUSJA). Since 2015, Lehmann has been organizing the Vienna Ball of Science (and the Vienna March for Science in 2017). He is also the eponym of the Hydraena oliverlehmanni, a species of dwarf water beetles naturally occurring in the province of Fujian (China).

Andreas Marchler

Chief Executive Officer

Andreas Marchler is Managing Director at Zeta Biopharma GmbH. As a member of ZETA’s management board, Marchler is responsible for sales and marketing within the ZETA Group. His main focus is on the continuous expansion of ZETA’s business activities at the global biotech and pharma market. The ZETA Group has established itself as a globally active, reliable partner in engineering, plant engineering and automation in the dynamic biotech market.

Christine Moissl-Eichinger

Professor for Interactive Microbiome Research

Christine Moissl-Eichinger studied Microbiology in Regensburg, Germany. After two PostDoc positions (at Medical University Regensburg, and at Caltech, California/ NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), she founded her own research group in 2007. Until the “Habilitation” in 2014 she focused her studies on the indoor microbiome and environmental microbiology, with a particular focus on Archaea. Since 2014 she is full professor for Interactive Microbiome Research at the Medical University in Graz, and her research focusses on the human microbiome, the human archaeome and the interaction of microorganisms with pharmaceutical and herbal drugs.

Francisco Moris

Co-founder & Managing Director

Francisco Morís received his PhD in 1994 from the University of Oviedo and worked for two years as Postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, USA. In 1997 he joined ThermoGen, Inc. (Chicago, IL), where he worked as Associate Director of Biocatalysis focusing on high-throughput assay development and biocatalytic process development. In 2002 he joined the biotransformations group at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Syracuse, NY), helping develop a large scale process for saxagliptin. In 2005 he set up EntreChem. Francisco is co-author of over 50 scientific international publications and co-inventor in over 15 patents.

John Morrissey

Senior Lecturer Microbiology Department

John Morrissey’s career has taken him from a BSc in Microbiology, though PhD and post-doctoral training in Germany, the USA and the UK, to his current position as Principle Investigator leading a yeast biotechnology group at University College Cork, Ireland. His research group is interested in developing yeasts for food and beverage applications on one part and as cell factories for industrial biotechnology on the other. He collaborates extensively with academic and industry colleagues across Europe and is is co-ordinator of three major EU-funded projects: CHASSY, YEASTCELL and YEASTDOC.

Christoph Mück

Quality Assessor

Christoph Mück is a Quality Assessor at the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety – AGES. He is trained as an engineer in Pharmaceutical Technology and as a Biomedical Engineer. Mück received his PhD from the Medical University of Innsbruck in the field of Cell and Molecular Biology. Before joining the AGES he worked for six years in the pharmaceutical industry. There he managed process validation projects and facilitated Quality by Design for gene therapy and modified protein products.

Matthias Müllner

Head of CMC

Matthias Müllner holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and completed his doctoral studies in 2010 at the Department of Virology and Biomedicine at the Veterinarian University of Vienna. He joined Themis Bioscience in 2011 and in his function as Head of CMC, he was responsible for the development of a stable and robust manufacturing process for Themis’ Measles based live virus vaccine platform technology. The respective process was successfully used to manufacture phase 1 and/or phase 2 clinical batches for vaccines against Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Virus and Zika Virus. Currently, the process is optimized for commercial vaccine production.

Alexander Murer

Co-Founder & CEO

Alexander Murer found a community life science lab during his studies of Molecular Biology to pursue his very own research, due to the limited possibilities at university. His technical interest and the lab needs got him involved in lab instrument development and later found his start-up project Kilobaser, a personal DNA synthesizer, with friends.

Eszter Nagy

Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Managing Director

Eszter Nagy received her PhD from the University Medical School of Pécs, Hungary, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth Medical School. She has spent 18 years in biotechnology and has been involved in the discovery and development of numerous biologics for infectious diseases. Nagy founded Arsanis in 2010 and built a multi-disciplinary research and pre-clinical team in Vienna that created the current pipeline of the company, including Phase 2 readiness of the leading program ASN100.

Thomas Purkarthofer

Head of Business Development

Thomas Purkarthofer, is Head of Business Development at VTU Technology GmbH, a biotech company providing Pichia pastoris protein production services. Thomas joined VTU in 2006 managing the start-up of the company´s new Protein Technologies Unit. He is responsible for the commercialisation of VTU´s proprietary Pichia pastoris protein production platform and global customer relations and is a member of VTU´s R&D team. Thomas received his PhD in chemistry from Graz University of Technology. In 2011, he was appointed as authorized representative of VTU Technology.

Thomas Rattei

Professor for in Silico Genomics and Vice-Head of Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Head of the Division of Computational Systems Biology

Thomas Rattei was appointed at the University of Vienna as a full professor heading CUBE, the Division of Computational Systems Biology, by March 2010. His work and experience cover a wide spectrum of topics from bioinformatics, genome and metagenome analysis and systems biology. The international reputation of his research group triggered their involvement in numerous international (meta-) genome sequencing and analysis consortia. Furthermore, his group develops novel computational approaches for studying molecular inter-species interactions. Rattei is deputy speaker of the Austrian Bioinformatics Platform.

Udo Reichl

Professor of Bioprocess Engineering at University of Magdeburg

Udo Reichl studied biology at Saarland University, Germany, and Chemical Engineering at Stuttgart University, where he gained his PhD at the Institute for Systems Dynamic and Control. After holding several postdoc positions he became head of virus productions at Pitman-Moore GmbH in Burgwedel near Hanover, Germany. Since 1999 he has held the Chair of Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Magdeburg, and he was appointed Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in 2000.

Dörte Rother

Junior Professor at RWTH Aachen University

Dörte Rother is head of the Helmholtz young investigators’ group “Synthetic Enzyme Cascades” at Forschungszentrum Jülich since 2012 and Junior-Professor at RWTH Aachen University since 2015. She holds a diploma in biology from RWTH Aachen University and a PhD from University of Düsseldorf. In 2008 Rother got a DFG-Postdoc scholarship  at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Gerald Ruppert

IP Manager
CAG Holding GmbH

Gerald Ruppert is IP Manager at CAG Holding GmbH. He got to know IP-matters from many different angels, as a patent examiner at the European Patent Office, as IP-service provider for SME, start-ups and universities, as expert involved in setting up governmental IP-policies and promotion programmes and currently by “hands-on” managing IP in private industry. By actively engaging in the Association of Austrian Patent Engineers and by giving lectures on IP-related issues for students and IP-practitioners Ruppert would like to contribute to awareness raising for IP and in particular for its strategic aspects which are often still underestimated in strategic business planning of companies of all sizes.

Berthold Rutz

Patent Examiner Biotechnology
Berthold Rutz is a senior patent examiner in the field of biotechnology at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich entrusted with search, examination and opposition. The author of numerous scientific and patent related publications is a regular presenter on patents in biotechnology. Rutz performed his studies in Berlin (Freie Universität), New York (Rockefeller University) and Heidelberg (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) and holds a PhD in biochemistry. He has passed the qualifying exam for European Patent Attorneys (EQE) and is a member of the examination committee for this exam. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Biotechnology Journal.

Johannes Sarx

Managing Director

As head of the priority program called Life Science Austria (LISA) at the Austrian federal promotional bank, Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws), Johannes Sarx is in charge of strategic planning and the implementation of measures that help put business start-up ideas into practice and strengthen Austria as a centre for life sciences. In his role as an investment manager, he provides support for the development and financing of innovative Austrian life science start-ups. Since 2010, he has also been representing the aws as managing director of the Viennese life sciences platform, LISAvienna.

Boris Schilling

Head of External Opportunities

Boris Schilling is Head of External Opportunities at Givaudan. His general interest are in lifescience programs and developments linked to the Flavor, Fragrance and Cosmetics fields – starting from the discovery of new odorants or biochemical processes to the understanding of the sense of smell, addressing the regulatory profiles of ingredients and implementing sustainability as a cornerstone in innovation processes. Green chemistry, including biocatalysis is an emerging trend where Givaudan is using enzymatic routes to produce “natural” ingredients but also to complement the toolbox that is currently used by organic chemists.

Martin Schürmann

Principal Scientist Biocatalysis

Martin Schürmann is Principal Scientist Biocatalysts. In the last 15 years at DSM Innovative Synthesis and at InnoSyn B.V.  Schürmann could apply his expertise in the biological sciences in combination with organic chemistry and “molecular thinking”, which are the key success factor in applied biocatalysts. InnoSyn B.V. is a young SME originating from a spin-out of DSM’s biocatalysis, chemocatalysis and flow chemistry R&D department Innovative Synthesis. InnoSyn B.V. provides services for all phases of process/product/technology development starting from idea generation all the way to running business.

Manfred Schuster

CEO and Founder

Manfred Schuster has some twenty years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech industry. He studied biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical quality management and is also certified as QP. He co-founded Remute Bio and RMB-Research as well as Apeiron Biologics AG in 2005 where he worked as COO until 2015. He previously worked for six years at Igeneon AG and Novartis.

Angela Siegling

Patent and Licence Manager

Angela Siegling is a Patent and Licence Manager in the Life Science area at aws – Austria Wirtschaftsservice mbH. Her expertise includes evaluation of new technologies and ideas, deal making, business intelligence, and conducting due diligence. She is a Certified Licensing Professional and holds a Doctor of Natural Sciences in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Prior to joining aws she was the CSO at Mixis France S.A., Paris and Eucodis GmbH, Vienna, a project manager for the Bayer AG, Wuppertal and a post-doc at the Max Planck Society in Erlangen, Charité in Berlin and LSUMC in New Orleans.

Ruth Staubmann

Plant Manager

Ruth Staubmann received her PhD in biochemistry from Graz University of Technology. She started her career in quality assurance at Fresenius Pharma Austria GmbH in the late ninetees. From 2006 to 2013 she was head of production at Fresenius Kabi Austria, Plant Graz, then joined Fresenius Kabi USA, Plant Grand Island for two years as project manager for north american operations and senior director for project management. Since october 2016 she is the plant manager of Fresenius Kabi in Graz.

Virginia Ursin

Director of Scientific Collaborations

Virginia Ursine received a PhD in Genetics in 1987 from the University of California, Davis and a BSc in Plant and Soil Sciences in 1982 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She held post-doctoral positions at the USDA Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, CA and at Calgene Inc. in Davis, CA. She joined Monsanto in 1989 and has worked in a variety of Biotechnology scientific and project leadership roles. Since 2016 she is Director of Scientific Collaborations at Indigo Ag, Inc.

Bertram Weiss

Head of Bioinformatics

Bertram Weiss is an experienced principal scientist in bioinformatics with a strong background in biology and chemistry (20+ years). The strong research impact of his group is a consequence of combining several scientific disciplines seamlessly with a solid understanding of advanced analytics addressing urgent needs in modern drug discovery. He has shown repeatedly how Bioinformatics can have impact on pre-clinical and clinical drug discovery projects. As Head of Bioinformatics at Bayer Drug Discovery he now enables a team of ~15 computational scientists to “turn data into medicines” successfully. His life time passion has been to make Bioinformatics an integral and also critical part of modern drug discovery.

Dirk Weuster-Botz

Director Research Center of White Biotechnology

Dirk Weuster-Botz did his doctoral research study at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Research Center Jülich. As postdoc in Jülich he established his own junior research group on fermentation science. After an industrial research stay at the DSM company in Geleen, Netherlands, he earned his postdoctoral lecture qualification at the RWTH Aachen. One year later he was appointed as full professor and chairman of the Institute of Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich in Garching. Since 2005 he serves as Editor-in-Chief of ‘Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering’. 2012 he was appointed as member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), Germany.

Holger Zorn

Director of the Institute of Food Chemistry and Food Biotechnology

Prof. Holger Zorn is Director of the Institute of Food Chemistry and Food Biotechnology at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. Prior to that, Prof. Zorn was head of the Technical Biochemistry Group at the University of Dortmund, from 2006 – 2008. Prof. Zorn is a member of the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and he is working as associate editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Apart from that, he is heading a Fraunhofer group on food improvement agents.