Selected members of the team
“It surprises me what a small, motivated, smart team can achieve! I like working in a challenging, flexible, scientific environment.”
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Helga Sgardelli joined Affiris in 2012. Since then she is responsible for all the outsourced GMP activities of Affiris’ clinical active immunotherapy candidates as Head of External Manufacturing. Working in the biotech and pharma industry since 2000 (Baxter, Intercell) she could gain broad experience in the area of quality, manufacturing, project management, outsourcing and vaccine development. Helga holds a degree in Biochemistry from the Technical University Graz.
„Curiosity, meaningful work and an enjoyable team…that`s my motivation to work at AFFiRiS“
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Marwa Mostageer joined AFFiRiS in March 2010 as staff scientist of the Enabling Technology Group. After completing her studies at the Vienna University, she performed her Ph.D. thesis in cancer research at Boehringer Ingelheim in 2002. Her experience in the research sector was complemented by lecturing for three years at the German University in Cairo/Egypt (GUC), teaching genetics and molecular biology and establishing microbiology and molecular biology lab courses. She achieved acknowledgment at f-star by developing novel bispecific antibodies to improve the treatment of serious diseases as well as disease-modifying immunotherapeutics for Alzheimer`s disease at Axon Neuroscience. Currently she works as staff scientist of Dr. Smrzkas team, establishing new molecular targeting concepts in the field of allergy.
“Based on my background in fundamental research and drug development in biotech, I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds when I got the opportunity to join modern active immunotherapy research. It is exciting to work in an emerging field where different disciplines meet.”
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Oskar Smrzka leads AFFiRiS’ Enabling Technologies Department in charge of establishing new molecular targeting concepts and of validating preclinical vaccine candidates. His Lab contributes to setting up functional screenings and establishing in vivo models for the preclinical active immunotherapies pipeline of AFFiRiS. Before joining the company, Dr. Smrzka started his career at the Vienna Medical University followed by training as molecular biologist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (Vienna IMP). After his PostDoc years in Amsterdam (The Netherlands Cancer Institute; epigenetics) and Paris (Institut Curie; cell biology), he joined the St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI, Vienna), addressing fundamental topics in molecular cell biology of rare childhood tumors. Entering biotech industry, he established a functional small molecule screening pipeline for a start-up biotech company at the Vienna Biocenter. At AFFiRiS, Dr. Oskar Smrzka’s Enabling Technologies group is currently focusing on preclinical validation and development of therapeutic active immunotherapies for Huntington’s disease and allergy.
“AFFiRiS was the right environment to translate my knowledge that I gained in basic immunological research into an elegant active immunotherapy.”
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Benjamin Vigl leads the allergy active immunotherapy project at AFFiRiS. He studied Biology with majors in Genetics and Immunology in Vienna and Leicester (UK). After his Diploma thesis in T cell signaling at the Medical University Vienna, he wrote his Doctoral thesis at the Pharmaceutical Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich about the influence of inflammation on lymphatic vessels and its impact on leukocyte trafficking. A related press release was awarded with the WISP prize 2011. In the same year he joined the company to bring the allergy active immunotherapy project from the early discovery to preclinical stage.
“I believe that the goal of a scientist should be to contribute to make the world a better place. Since vaccination is one of the major cornerstones of modern medicine and common welfare, a company like ours is a good place to work towards that goal.”
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Dr. Dorian Winter is a scientist at AFFiRiS. He is working in active immunotherapy- and assay-development, and is also assigned various infrastructural responsibilities; e.g.: occupational safety. Before joining AFFiRiS, he trained as a geneticist at the University of Vienna. Dorian Winter took his PhD at the DIAID, Department of Dermatology, Vienna Medical University, working in the field of personalized anti-cancer immunotherapies. Following this, he spent several years as project leader in the development and improvement of vaccines and germ-specific assays for Lohmann Animal Health, a leading producer of poultry vaccines in Lower Saxony/Germany. Dr. Winter joined AFFiRiS in 2010.