Medizinische Universität Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria

The Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI) is a public university in Innsbruck. It used to be one of the four historical faculties of the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck and became an independent university in 2004.
MUI is one of the largest educational facilities for doctors and medical researchers in Austria and the most important in western Austria. The cooperation with the Tyrolean clinics is very close and University Hospital of Innsbruck with 1600 beds is one of the biggest clinics in Austria.
On average, 1,800 employees work at MUI and over 3,000 students participate in the courses.
Roughly 300 PhD postgraduates take part in one of the 9 PhD programs offered. In addition, a part-time doctoral program – the Clinical PhD – is offered for graduates of the Medicine and Dentistry degree programs.
Like every university, the Medical University of Innsbruck is mostly associated with research, which is one of its three core activities. The research teams achieve remarkable results in both - theoretical departments and clinical practice. Researchers assert themselves well in this extremely competitive field and obtain funding both on a national and international scale. They are involved in many cooperative projects.

Scientific research is carried out in various scientific areas. Main research focuses on the following fields:

  • Oncology,
  • Neurosciences,
  • Genetics, epigenetics and genomics,
  • Infectiology, immunology & organ and tissue transplant

The short geographical distances between Medical University, Hospital, further academic and research institutes like ADSI and Oncotyrol, enable fruitful cooperation and simplify data and patient’s material exchange.
In 2016 the Comprehensive Cancer Center Innsbruck (CCCI) was established as a partnership between MUI and the Tyrolean Clinics. CCCI is a high-performace centre of modern technology in cancer research and closes the gap between interdisciplinary research and clinical application and accelerates the implementation of know-how in clinical treatment, research and teaching.

Group leader

Lukas Huber

Lukas A. Huber studied Medicine at the University of Innsbruck. He joined the laboratory of Kai Simons at EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany) as a postdoc in epithelial biology until 1994, moved then to the University of Geneva (Switzerland) to work in the laboratory of Jean Gruenberg on endocytosis in epithelial cells. In 1996 Lukas Huber started his own laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna (Austria) and in 2002 he got appointed as professor and head of the Division of Cell Biology and scientific director of the Biocenter of Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria). There he initiated and coordinated the FP6 EU program GROWTHSTOP, the Austrian Proteomics Platform of the Austrian Genome Program (GEN-AU), a special research program in Innsbruck entitled “Cell proliferation and Cell Death in Tumors –SFB021” of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and actively participate in several EU programs. Since 2009 Lukas Huber is also CSO of ONCOTYROL- Center of Personalized Cancer Medicine in and since 2012 founder and scientific director of the Austrian Drug Screening Institute (ADSI).

His research interests have expanded to understanding the spatial-temporal regulation of signal transduction through scaffold complexes and their subcellular localization applying molecular cell biology, further he works on mouse genetics and functional proteomics. In the last years, translational cancer research became his major focus.
Lukas Huber's research results were published in more than 160 scientific articles. His basic research has provided important insights, e.g. in the field of signal transduction. He discovered the tasks of scaffold and adapter proteins, in particular the LAMTOR complex, which coordinates cell division, cell growth, cell death and cell migration by binding and controlling the MAPK and mTorC signalling pathways.
With his research, Lukas Huber contributed to the basic understanding of immunology and cancer development.
Lukas Huber publication list contains actually 161 original papers and research results were cited over twelve thousand times. Lukas Huber is also co- inventor of a patent related to medical intervention in haematological cancers. (PCT/EP2009/003736).

He won various awards and is editor of several scientific journals.

team member

Arno Amann

Arno Amann has been a resident at the Department of Haematology and Oncology situated at the University Hospital of Innsbruck since 2013. He has also been a PhD student at the Laboratory of Translational Cancer Research since 2010, with focus on 3D cell culture based models.

From 2003-2009 he completed his medical studies in human medicine at Medical University of Innsbruck.

The research interest of Arno Amann is based in the development of more in vivo-like 3D cell culture models from cancer patients, to be used in the study of tumour-stroma interactions and for the development of more clinical relevant biomarkers.

During the past years, the team of the Laboratory of Translational Cancer Research achieved to develop models including multicellular microtissues consisting of fibroblasts, cancer and endothelial cells in a hanging drop system (Amann et al. PLoS One 2014, Amann el al. Sci. Rep. 2017).
More recently, also the implementation of immune cells into the existing model was enabled (Koeck et al. Immunobiology. 2016, Koeck et al. Oncoimmunology. 2017). Beside cell based research, the successful implementation of an immune therapy related biobank at Medical Hospital of Innsbruck was achieved.

To date he has authored 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications including research articles and reviews.