Austrian Scientists & Scholars
in North America

Past Presidents

Dietrich HaubenbergerDietrich Haubenberger

Dr. Dietrich Haubenberger received his medical degree and training as a neurologist at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, followed by a tenure track position to become Associate Professor of Neurology in 2014. Dr. Haubenberger’s research focuses on the area of movement disorders, where he is an expert in tremor disorders. He published in the field of clinical genetics, neurophysiology, outcome measures research, as well as clinical trials. From 2008-2011, Dr. Haubenberger completed a clinical research fellowship at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH, located in Bethesda, MD) conducting IND-regulated clinical trials in patients with Essential Tremor. Dr. Haubenberger returned to NINDS in 2014 as Assistant Clinical Director for Clinical Research, and built up and directed the NINDS Clinical Trials Unit. In 2019, Dr. Haubenberger transitioned into a Clinical Development role in the biopharmaceutical industry, where he is now leading drug-development programs for neurological diseases at Neurocrine Biosciences in San Diego, CA. Within ASciNA, Dietrich lead the Greater Washington DC Chapter from 2008-2011 and was involved in the inception and development of the ASciNA Mentoring Program. Dietrich, who also holds a Masters Degree for Clinical Research from Duke University, lives with his family in San Diego, CA.

Franz Franchetti

Franz Franchetti is the Kavčić-Moura Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Engineering (Carnegie Institute of Technology) as well as the Director of the Engineering Research Accelerator (CIT) at Carnegie Mellon University.

He is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Austria for Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania, USA.

He received the Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc.) degree in Technical Mathematics and the Dr. techn. (Ph.D.) degree in Computational Mathematics from the Vienna University of Technology in 2000 and 2003, respectively. In 2006 he was member of the team winning the Gordon Bell Prize (Peak Performance Award) and in 2010 he was member of the team winning the HPC Challenge Class II Award (most productive system). In 2013 he received the CIT Dean’s Early Career Fellowship awarded by the College of Engineering of Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Franchetti’s research focuses on automatic performance tuning and program generation for emerging parallel platforms and algorithm/hardware co-synthesis. He targets multicore CPUs, clusters and high-performance systems (HPC), graphics processors (GPUs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), FPGA-acceleration for CPUs, and logic-in-memory and 3DIC chip design. He leads three DARPA projects in the BRASS, HACMS and PERFECT programs and is PI/Co-PI on a number of federal and industry grants. Since 2011 he is CTO of SpiralGen, Inc., a Pittsburgh area technology startup he co-founded in 2009. Franz has been playing the electric guitar on-stage in various rock bands since 1993. Watch him perform live or visit Wr. Neustadt’s newcomer festival SCHMU, where he performed and served as stage engineer. He is ASciNA President and leads the Western Pennsylvania chapter of Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASCiNA).

Hubert Zajicek

Dr. Hubert Zajicek is past-president of ASciNA (2011-2014) and Chapter head of the South West Chapter. He also was a co-founder and long-time board member of ASciNA, serving in many different capacities. He is CEO, co-founder and partner at Health Wildcatters, a seed stage healthcare accelerator in Dallas. He previously was managing director – medical technology of NTEC(North Texas Enterprise Center) – Medical Technology in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and organizer of the regions’ largest medical technology investment conference, MedVentures every year. Before joining NTEC he held a faculty position in the Department of Internal Medicine – Nephrology and Cell Biology at UT Southwestern, where he also was a post-doctoral NIH-fellow. Hubert received his Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.) from the University of Vienna, School of Medicine (1996), and his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in 2006.

Peter Nagele

Dr. Peter Nagele ist Past-President von ASCINA. Von 2008 bis 2011 bekleidete er das Amt des Präsidenten. Er arbeitet seit 2005 Anästhesist an der Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, USA, und leitet dort eine klinische Forschungsgruppe. Seine Forschung konzentriert sich auf Pharmakogenetik und perioperative Outcomes-Forschung. Er hat an der Uni Innsbruck Medizin studiert und seine Facharztausbildung in Anaesthesiologie und Intensivmedizin am AKH Wien abgeschlossen. 2005 habilitierte sich Peter Nagele an der Medizinischen Universität Wien und ist seither in den USA. Er ist Gründungsmitglied von ASCINA und leidenschaftlicher Österreicher.

Eva Schernhammer

Dr.Dr. Eva Schernhammer founded in 2001 – coinciding with the formation of a group of Austrian scientists in Washington DC – the inaugurale ASCINA Chapter in Boston together with Dr. Wolfgang Winkelmayer. Soon after, they and the growing group of Ascina members in Boston put together the association statutes and launched in June 2002 the North America-wide association “ASCINA” (with her as one of the founding members). Together with Wolfgang Winkelmayer she established in Boston for the first time the “monthly scientific talks” followed by socializing in a local pub – today integral part of all ASCINA Chapters. After having chaired the Boston Chapter for several years, from 2005-2008 she was elected the first female president of the all ASCINA.

From the very beginning, the ASCINA Chapter in Boston established itself as the most prosperous and member-strong Chapter within ASCINA, and became the main driving force for Ascina’s agenda in the early years of the association. Under the presidency and the initiative of Wolfgang Winkelmayer, the member database had grown to a remarkable extent. This won ASCINA, the first and only club of Austrian scientists in North America, attention and gave it importance to the Republic of Austria, paving the way for several important decisions, under the presidency of Eva Schernhammer. At the initiative of Eva Schernhammer and thanks to her persistent lobbying, the ASCINA Award was established in 2008, sponsored by the Austrian ministry of Science (BMWF). The first ASCINA prizes, endowed with 20,000.- EUR, were subsequently awarded on 10 November 2008, by Minister Hahn and Eva Schernhammer. Furthermore, under Eva’s presidency, club membership was formalized (i.e. various levels of ASCINA membership, as well as the introduction of a membership fee), and the ASCINA mentoring program, which was based on an idea by Werner Olipitz and set up personally by him, was initiated. A virtual secretariat was established (also sponsored by the Austrian Ministries, at that time BMVIT/brainpower), which allowed to expand the membership database, send out an annual newsletters, establish additional Chapters, and, in 2008, organize the second major ASCINA Conference in Vienna. During the last year of her presidency, Peter Nagele became Vice-President and actively supported Eva Schernhammer, allowing that a seamless transfer of responsibilities could be carried out with the end of 2008.

In 2009/2010 Eva Schernhammer spent a sabbatical at UCLA in Los Angeles, and at that time took over the Presidency of the Chapter “South Pacific”, which was able to regroup and, with new impetus, continued to thrive.

After several years of clinical work at SMZ-South (at that time the Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital) in Vienna, with a focus on oncology, Eva Schernhammer, who is an alumna of the Medical University of Vienna (MD 1992), received her doctorate in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and, since 2003, was full-time faculty at Harvard Medical School/HSPH. Since 2015, she is Professor of Epidemiology and Head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna, while maintaining active research programs at Harvard. In addition to her MD (Medical University of Vienna, 1992) and Doctor of Public Health, Epidemiology (DrPH, 2003 Harvard School of Public Health), she also holds an MPH (Harvard School of Public Health, 2000) and MSc (Psychology, University of Vienna, 2003). In 2005, Dr. Eva Schernhammer received her Habilitation in Public Health/Social Medicine (Medical University of Vienna). In October 2011, she successfully completed her check-ride over the Malibu Hills and obtained the “Private Pilot License” from Encore Flight School in Van Nyus, California.

Wolfgang Winkelmayer

Dr. Wolfgang Winkelmayer is the Gordon A. Cain Chair of Nephrology and Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Originally from Vienna, Austria, he earned a Master of Public Health degree in Health Care Management (1999) and a Doctor of Science degree in Health Policy (2001) from Harvard University. He then spent 8 years on the faculty of Brigham and Women¹s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he established himself as a prolific investigator and leader in the discipline of comparative-effectiveness research as it pertains to kidney disease. Before joining Baylor in 2014, he spent 5 years at Stanford University where he was the Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Nephrology. His main areas of research interest include the treatment of anemia as well as the effectiveness and safety of interventions for cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease. In addition, he has particular interest in medical publishing. He serves as the Associate Editor for Nephrology of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, is a Co-Editor of the American Journal of kidney Disease, and has been appointed to several other editorial boards of leading nephrology and epidemiology journals. Since 2010, he has served on the Public Policy Board of the American Society of Nephrology.

Florian Brody

Florian Brody is an international marketing executive and digital media specialist. He serves as advisor and head of marketing at early-stage companies in the mobile payment, e-learning and vision technology space. He co-founded several start-ups and raised significant amounts of venture funding. He also works as life and management coach in the start-up as well as the not-for-profit space. He co-invented the first electronic books and created multiple groundbreaking digital publishing solutions in Europe and the US. Earlier he built the multi-media market for Apple Austria and developed digital media catalogs at the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Brody was a member of the graduate faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and held the multimedia chair at the University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg. He teaches entrepreneurship and mobile payment strategies at the Universities in Linz, Austria and Magdeburg–Stendal, Germany. He actively promotes to collaboration between German speaking countries and the Silicon Valley and has initiated an incubator for Austrian start-ups.

Brody grew up in Vienna where he studied computer linguistics, worked at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris and as fashion photographer in Vienna. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and has been published in multiple languages. Brody is founding president of ASCINA and led the Bay Area Chapter 2002 – 2004. He is engaged in fostering the interaction between Austria and the Silicon Valley.