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New Scientific Directorate at the IMP

01 Jul 2013

Jan-Michael Peters has been appointed Scientific Director of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, effective 1 July 2013. The German cell biologist has been leading a research group at the IMP since 1996. The position of Deputy Director will be held by Prof Meinrad Busslinger, a stem cell specialist from Switzerland. 

The research career of Jan-Michael Peters has been tightly linked to the IMP. He joined the institute in 1996 to set up his first independent research group, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of cell division. In 2002, he was promoted to the position of Senior Scientist.

Together with his international team, Jan-Michael Peters was able to identify a number of proteins that play important roles in cell division and in the correct separation of chromosomes. The enzyme Polo-like kinase 1 was identified as a target protein for a new class of anti-tumor drugs that have successfully completed advanced clinical trials.

On an international scale, Jan-Michael Peters has been coordinating large-scale European efforts to study cell division. Twelve leading European research centers joined forces in the integrated EU-projects MitoCheck and MitoSys, led by Peters. His achievements have been recognized by a number of awards, among them the prestigious Wittgenstein-Prize of the Austrian federal government.

"I am very happy and honored by the trust that is placed upon me", says Jan-Michael Peters. It is a challenge and a pleasure for me to play a role in the success-story that the IMP represents. Its development and the rise of the Campus Vienna Biocenter are without comparison in the history of European basic research."

Michel Pairet, SVP Corporate Research & Development non-clinical at Boehringer Ingelheim and member of the search committee, congratulates: "Dr Peters has served the IMP in various roles and has developed an impressive scientific track record. I wish him and his deputy much success in their new roles."

In his function as IMP-Director, Jan-Michael Peters succeeds Australian neurobiologist Barry Dickson who led the IMP from 2006 until 2012. Dickson accepted an appointment at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA.

About Jan-Michael Peters
Jan-Michael Peters was born in Germany in 1962. He studied Biology in Kiel and Heidelberg and in 1991 obtained his PhD in Cell Biology. As a postdoctoral fellow, Peters worked with Werner Franke at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and later in Marc Kirschner's lab at the Harvard Medical School in Boston. In 1996, Jan-Michael Peters moved to Vienna to become a Group Leader at the IMP. In 2002, he was promoted to Senior Scientist and in 2011 became the IMP's Scientific Deputy Director.

Jan-Michael Peters has received a number of awards for his research on cell division, including the EMBO Young Investigator Award, the Novartis Research Prize and the Austrian Wittgenstein-Prize. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation EMBO.

About the IMP
The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna is a basic biomedical research institute largely sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. With over 200 scientists from 38 nations, the IMP is committed to scientific discovery of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying complex biological phenomena. Research areas include cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, disease mechanisms and computational biology. The IMP is a founding member of the Campus Vienna Biocenter.

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