The chair, which had been vacant since the year 2000, was occupied in July 2008 through the appointment of Prof. Wagner. The ensuing generation change saw the working groups being organized according to the following structure.
Research divided up into the following working groups
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Adaptation of Pathogenic Micro-organisms
- Global Aspects of Food Safety and
- Ecology of Food Related Zoonotic Agents (Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine)
The working group Molecular Epidemiology Beatrix Stessl deals with the molecular typifying of zoonotic agents using pulsed field gel electrophoresis, PCR-based techniques and sequence based methods. These methods are used for clarification of interrelation contamination within or outside the food producing establishments. In addition, they are responsible for establishing reference stocks and databases of the genotypes of foods and clinical material of isolated pathogenic micro-organisms as a basis for managing intervention-epidemiological measures.
The working group Adaptation of Food Associated Pathogens Kathrin Rychli deals with factors involving intrinsic and extrinsic microbial population adaptation strategies in foods. The Rychli Working Group works primarily in the proteomics of listeria and other organisms and researches the interaction between multi-resistant microbes and secondary metabolites in moulds. The Rychli Working Group also manages the cell culture laboratory which makes available the virulence models needed for research!
The working group Global Aspects of Food Safety Dagmar Schoder endeavours to improve the dairy hygiene in developing countries. To this end, studies into the prevalence of zoonotic agents will be carried out in Tanzania, as well as addressing chemical issues regarding the presence of contaminants, such as melamine. In addition the Dr. Schoder’s group is taking responsibility for the national listeria monitoring of cheese factories and other establishments and the reinstatement of establishments where there has been a case of contamination.
The development of sample preparation strategies targeting digestion technologies and PCR / microarray-based multi-information platforms is an important element in the development of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Molecular Food Analysis, with its headquarters here. The partners being, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the two business partners, AGES and Merck KGaA (see DC-MOFA section).