Josef Penninger

Josef Penninger
  • Scientific Director
    Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Josef Penninger is the Founding Director of IMBA, a research initiative of the Austrian Academy of Sciences that promotes excellence in molecular biology and genetic research. Penninger is one of the world's leading mouse geneticists. In 2006, he received the Descartes Prize from the EU, the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine and the Carus Medal for his work on finding genes that control life and disease. He is also the youngest Member of the Academy of Sciences in Austria and holds professorships in Toronto, Vienna and Beijing. Penninger has published more than 300 scientific articles; he was the first to identify the key function of a gene that controls bone loss in osteoporosis, arthritis, bone metastases, AIDS patients and in children with leukaemia and also found genes that regulate pain, heart disease, the circadian clock and, recently, lung failure involved in bird flu and bioterrorism. He has a degree in Medicine, studied Art History and worked for many years in Toronto.