Center of Competence for Research into Human-Animal Interactions


The Messerli Research Institute was founded in 2010 with support from the Messerli Foundation (Sörenberg, Switzerland) under the management of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna.

The research is devoted to the interaction between humans and animals, as well as its theoretical principles in animal cognition and behavior, comparative medicine and ethics. Its work is characterized by its broad interdisciplinary approach (biology, human medicine, veterinary medicine, philosophy, psychology, law) and strong international focus.

Research findings are an integral part of the academic curriculum in a new Master’s program and are also designed to provide guidelines for the responsible and acceptable treatment of animals. Thus, the Messerli Research Institute sees one of the main responsibilities in providing scientific information to help people responsible in the field of human-animal interactions.


The Messerli Reserach Institute is divided into three units:

Comparative Cognition 1

Comparative Medicine 2

Ethics and Human-Animal Studies 3