(Vienna, 30 January 2019) Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Head of the Gender Medicine Unit at the Medical University of Vienna, has been awarded the 3rd CEE Innovation Award powered by Atos, in recognition of her decades of commitment and successful research work in the field of gender medicine.
Kautzky-Willer, who, amongst other things, has been President of the International Society of Gender Medicine and President of the Austrian Diabetes Society since 2018, is regarded as the pioneer of gender medicine in Austria: "The CEE Innovation Award is awarded in recognition of the sustained commitment to research and innovation that is now required to produce holistic solutions and modern scientific approaches, as well as inspiring socially relevant trends," said Johann Schacher, Atos Country Manager Austria, in his welcome address.
"Gender medicine leads to personalised healthcare"
With its interdisciplinary approach, gender medicine is concerned with the biological and psychosocial differences between men and women that not only influence the health-consciousness of the individual but also the development and perception of diseases and how they are dealt with. In her acceptance speech, the prize-winner emphasised the importance of gender-specific, personalised medicine for the present and the future: "Gender medicine leads to personalised healthcare and medicine, which take account of gender-specific biological processes, personal preferences, specific psychosocial considerations and environmental factors. Approaches and analyses that reflect gender produce added value in science by improving the quality and reproducibility of results, and also in society and commerce, if new concepts are developed specifically with target groups in mind, thereby contributing to a better quality-of-life."
Minister calls for further expansion of the specialism
The Federal Minister for Women, Families and Youth, Juliane Bogner-Strauß, stressed the need for action in innovative sectors of medical research and praised the prize-winner's tireless courage in producing her scientifically unique publications. In her laudatory speech, Bogner-Strauß – graduate chemist and former Associate Professor at the Institute of Biochemistry of Graz University of Technology – called for further expansion of the specialism and for the creation of professorial Chairs in gender medicine throughout the whole of Austria.
About Alexandra Kautzky-Willer
Alexandra Kautzky-Willer became Austria's first ever professor of gender medicine in 2010. She is an expert in the field of endocrinology and metabolism, where there are particularly marked gender differences. After gaining her PhD (1988) and completing her specialist training in internal medicine (1996) she obtained her postdoctoral qualification at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna in 1997. Kautzky-Willer has held management positions as a senior doctor at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism since 2002, she has also headed up the Gender Medicine Unit since 2010 and has been Deputy Head of MedUni Vienna's Department of Medicine III since 2014, and Interim Head of Clinic III and of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism since 2018.
Her main research interests include: gestational diabetes, gender-specific aspects of obesity, gender-specific aspects of metabolic syndrome and gender-specific aspects of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as inflammation and epigenetic aspects. During the 2015/16 winter semester, she completed an assignment as a visiting professor at the University of Bielefeld. Since 2014, she has also been President of the Austrian Society of Gender Medicine.
Her guide entitled "Diabetes – Vorsorgen, rechtzeitig erkennen und richtig behandeln" [Diabetes – How to prevent it, promptly recognize it and correctly treat it] (written together with Yvonne Winhofer) appeared in the spring of 2016 in collaboration with MedUni Vienna and MANZ Verlag publishers. In 2016, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer was voted Scientist of the Year by the Austrian Club of Science and Education Journalists and, in 2018, was awarded the City of Vienna Prize for Medical Sciences.