Washington, 12 November 2009 Press release

Austrian awards for young Austrian scientists in North America

Award for the longstanding Director of the Center for Austrian Studies

Washington, 12 November 2009 – At today’s reception at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, Ambassador Dr. Christian Prosl will present three Austrian scientists working in North America with the Austrian ASCINA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) award.

The prize, which was awarded by the Federal Minister for Science and Research for the first time in 2008, is endowed with USD 10,000. Guided by the motto “Doing Research in North America”, the award goes to excellent scientific publications (or projects) which deal with important questions in the fields of natural science and the humanities. The goal is to promote communication between young Austrian scientists in North America and domestic research, as well as to foster scientific and academic cooperation between Austria and North America.

The target group are scientists and academics starting out on their scientific career (i.e. their latest academic degree must not be more than eight years old), who have carried out their scientific work at a North American research facility and who have submitted publications within twelve months before applying for the ASCINA prize.

This year’s ASCINA winners are:

Dr. Gerlinde WERNIG, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, California, who will receive the Young Scientists Award for her publication “Efficacy of TG101348, a Selective JAK2 Inhibitor, in Treatment of a Murine Model of JAK2V617F-Induced Polycythemia Vera”(published in the Cancer Cell Journal 13, 1-10 April, 2008).

Dr. Peter WINZER, Bell Labs, Crawford Hill Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, Holmsdel, New Jersey, who will be awarded the Junior Principal Investigator Award for his publication “100-Gb/s DQPSK Transmission: From Laboratory Experiments to Field Trials”(published in the Lightwave Technology Journal, Vol. 26, No.20, of October 15, 2008).

Dr. Martin W. Hetzer, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, who will receive the Junior Principal Investigator Award for his publication “Age-Dependent Deterioration of Nuclear Pore Complexes Causes a Loss of Nuclear Integrity in Postmitotic Cells” (published in the Cell Journal 136, 284-295, January 23, 2009).

In the course of the ceremony, the longstanding Director of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, Professor Gary Cohen, will be honoured for his intensive efforts to intensify academic cooperation between Austria and the USA.

Under the leadership of Professor Cohen, who wrote his dissertation in 1975 under the guidance of Professor Carl Schorske at Princeton University, the Center for Austrian Studies and the Austrian History Yearbook have become the focus of research on Austria and Austrian history in the United States. Professor Cohen’s research work focuses on the history of Austria and the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. As an author of numerous academic publications and books (including “The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914”) he has made an essential contribution to research on Austria in the United States.

For his services and endeavours to intensify the Austo-American relations Professor Gary Cohen will be awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and the Arts, First Class.


Mag. Philipp Marxgut
Office of Science & Technology
Austrian Embassy, Washington DC
Tel: +1 (202)895-6754
Fax: +1 (202)895-6750