DIVISION OF EXPERIMENTAL PATHOPHYSIOLOGY & IMMUNOLOGY
History - Research - Structure - Teaching
Pathophysiology (previously called "Functional Pathology" or General and Experimental Pathology) is taught to medical
students during the second section of their studies, i.e. before entering the practical and the clinical sector.
The first Institute of this kind was founded in Vienna in 1873 by the reknown Austrian pathologist von Rokitansky, a
contemporarian of the German pathologist Rudolf von Virchow.
The first chairman of the Vienna Institute for General and Experimental Pathology was Salomon Stricker. The Institute
in Innsbruck was founded already in 1878 under its first chairman, Dietl. Subsequent chairmen were Loewit, Pfeiffer, Bayer
and Theodor von der Wense.
In 1975 Georg Wick was appointed as Chairman and Professor for General and Experimental Pathology.
Wick, who is also Professor for Immunology, was for many years also head of the Central Laboratory Animal Facilities (Zentrale
Versuchstieranlage - ZVTA), a common unit of the entire Medical University that is used by scientists from theoretical institutes
as well as clinics.
Prof. Wick had a simultaneous appointment (from 1991 until 2003) as the Director of the extramural Institute for Biomedical
Aging Researchof the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
As a consequence of the foundation of the Innsbruck Medical University in 2005 and the concomitant restructuring of the entire
architecture, the institute was divided into 2 divisions, both of which were incorporated into the Department of Biocenter, i.e. the
Division of Experimental Pathophysiology and Immunology with Prof. Georg Wick as head and Prof. Siegfried Schwarz
as deputy head, and the
Division of Molecular Pathophysiology with Prof. Reinhard Kofler as head and Prof. Arno Helmberg as deputy head.
In 2007, a further division was "enucleated" from the Division of Experimental Pathophysiology and Immunology, i.e. the
Division of Developmental Immunology with Prof. Andreas Villunger as head and Prof. Jan Wiegers as deputy head.
As of September 30, 2007, Professor Georg Wick retired as Director of the Division of Experimental Pathophysiology
and Immunology. He has moved to new laboratory premises, designated the "Laboratory of Autoimmunity" (also within the
Biocenter) where he continues his research on the "immunology of atherosclerosis" and the "immunology of fibrosis"
(telephone number: +43(0)512 9003.70960).
In addition, he continues his diagnostic work.
Professor Lukas Huber, M.D., Head of the Department "Innsbruck Biocenter" and Director of the Division of Cell Biology, has
been appointed by the Senate and the Rector as Provisional Director of the Division of Experimental Pathophysiology and
The former Institute was highly research-oriented and concentrated on two main areas, viz.
The Division became divided into the following research groups,
-Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology (Roswitha Sgonc)
-Laboratory of Immunopathology (Georg Wick - Emeritus since 2007)
-Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology (Siegfried Schwarz - retired since 2015)
-Laboratory of Biophysics/Biooptics (Guenther Boeck- retired)
-Laboratory of Local Immunity (Hugo Wolf - retired)
-Laboratory of Immunogenetics (Karel Hala - retired)
Pathophysiology is taught during the 7th and 8th semester of the "old" medical study curriculum, and already from the
3rd semester until the 7th semester of the "new" curriculum (since 2003).
All three former Divisions form the "Bereich Pathophysiologie" and participate in the teaching duties.
The aim of pathophysiology is to teach medical students - based on their knowledge acquired during the first section of their
medical studies (physics, biochemistry, anatomy, histology, physiology)
- the principles = the molecular and cellular basis of diseases and thus
- the understanding of pathogenetic mechanisms,
- diagnostic procedures and
- therapeutic and preventive measures.
In addition to the main obligatory program of lectures special electives (Nebenvorlesungen) are offered dealing with topics
beyond basic study requirements. In addition, the Division constantly educates approx. 10 to 20 pre and postgraduate students
from the fields of medicine, biology, molecular biology, microbiology and biophysics.
Webpage created by Siegfried Schwarz, former webmaster of this division, last update: May 31, 2017