Centenary farewells Professor Wolfgang Weninger

Centenary Institute

16/08/2018

Leading immunologist Professor Wolfgang Weninger is wrapping up 11 years of service at the Centenary Institute, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney, to take-up a prestigious new role in his native Austria.

Wolfgang received his clinical training in Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna in the 1990s. From there, he headed to the United States where he spent four years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, before joining the Immunology Program at Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute as an Assistant Professor.

In 2007, Wolfgang travelled down-under where he commenced his position as Raymond E. Purves Chair of Dermatology at the University of Sydney, and Head of the Department of Dermatology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Not one to be far from the laboratory, Wolfgang has also led the Immune Imaging Program at the Centenary Institute, as well as serving as the Institute’s Deputy Director.

Wolfgang’s work over the years has focused on immune responses in normal and diseased skin, particularly how immune cells respond to infection, inflammation and skin cancers. He is recognised as one of the world’s leading specialists in using multiphoton microscopy to view immune responses, and has used the technology to uncover immune cell behaviour during anti-pathogen and anti-tumour immune responses in the skin and other organs.

Dr Rohit Jain, a Senior Research Officer in Centenary’s Immune Imaging Program, says Wolfgang will be greatly missed by his Sydney colleagues.

“Wolfgang has been a great mentor to me. He is an insightful, fair and supportive boss. I have always found his suggestions to be well thought out and purposeful. Wolfgang’s mentoring style relies on a ‘light-touch’ approach and self-determination. In all, it has been a great pleasure and a privilege to work with Wolfgang.”

Professor Mathew Vadas AO, Executive Director of Centenary, says Wolfgang has also played a significant role in the leadership of the Institute.

“Wolfgang is unique. He has not only been able to carry out his research at the highest level, but as Deputy Director, has also been a key partner in developing the strategies for Centenary while attending to the fine details of management needed to make a successful institute.”

Turning full-circle, Wolfgang is now returning to the Medical University of Vienna, where he’ll be taking up the position as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology. He’ll be joined by his wife, fellow immunologist and Centenary scientist Dr Lois Cavanagh, and their two boys.

“I will miss Sydney with all its beauty, sun and outstanding cuisine, the scientific community at Centenary and the University of Sydney, and my clinical colleagues and patients at RPA Hospital,” says Wolfgang.

“At the same time I look forward to taking over one of the oldest chairs in our specialty at the Medical University of Vienna, with its pivotal contributions to modern dermatology research and practice. Rest assured, I will be a frequent visitor at the institute in the future and hope for a long-lasting and productive collaboration across the continents.”

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