Georg Stary, Senior Physician at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Dermatology and Adjunct Principal Investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has taken up a Professorship in the field of Dermatology (§99(4)) at MedUni Vienna in February 2024.
Georg Stary’s scientific focus is on gaining a better understanding of the immune system of the skin and mucous membranes and investigating how this can be used to prevent or treat diseases. Already during his medical studies, he researched the contribution of various immune cells in inflammatory skin diseases and how they are influenced by different stimuli. To this end, he expanded his knowledge of immunodermatology and technological skills during a research stay of several months at the Department of Dermatology at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. "This early exposure to dermatological research was certainly a key factor in my subsequent decision to become a dermatologist and complete my specialist training at the Medical University of Vienna," explains Georg Stary.
During and following his specialist training, Stary spent several years as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Ulrich von Andrian in Boston. During this research stay, he succeeded in developing a protective prophylactic chlamydia vaccination in a mouse model and working on the mechanistic significance of tissue-resident memory T cells in the mucosa.
After returning to the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna in 2015, Stary was appointed Associate Professor and established a research group. This resulted in scientific contributions to the phenotypic and functional characterization of tissue memory T cells of the skin and their involvement in the (immune) pathogenesis of graft-vs-host disease and HIV infection. Stary and his team were also able to describe memory NK cells in the liver and in contact dermatitis, demonstrate the effect of tick bites on the skin’s immune system and investigate the structure of skin granulomas using the latest methods. Based on the scientific findings, new therapeutic approaches are to be investigated in investigator-initiated trials by means of drug repurposing and thus bring direct benefits for patients.
In 2018, Stary was appointed Adjunct Principal Investigator at the Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which promotes innovative scientific collaborations with the latest technologies. From 2019 - 2023, he was also Co-Director and Research Group Leader at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases (LBI-RUD) and is now actively involved in the establishment of the Comprehensive Center for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases of the Meduni Vienna and the University Hospital Vienna.
Stary is actively involved in various specialist societies. He sees himself as an example of a medical scientist ("clinician scientist") in order to answer medical questions by contributing clinical expertise on the one hand and the methodological and technological know-how available in the team in the fields of cellular and molecular immunology and bioinformatics on the other.