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Institut für Virologie
am Department für Hygiene,
Mikrobiologie und Publich Health
der Medizinischen Universität Innsbruck

Peter-Mayr-Straße 4b
A-6020 Innsbruck

Tel.: 0512/9003-71701
Fax: 0512/9003-73701
E-Mail: virologie@i-med.ac.at
Historie der Sektion
In Innsbruck, like at other universities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, hygiene used to be taught as part of the teaching of "government pharmaceutics". In 1897 the chair for hygiene was founded by the medical faculty in Innsbruck and Alois Lode, who had trained with Max von Gruber in Vienna, became the first professor. In 1899 it was established that an oral examination in hygiene be compulsory for the doctoral degree. After Lode's retirement in 1937, he was succeeded by Friedrich Weigmann (until 1946) Walter Hauptmann and in 1953 by Alfred Schinzl.

In 1972 a second chair was founded (Hygiene II) and Johannes Benger was appointed as professor in 1975 and chaired the institute until his untimely death in 1980. In 1982 Erich Semenitz headed the institute for the interim, followed in 1983 by Manfred P. Dierich from the Institute for Medical Microbiology in Mainz, Germany (Chair held by Prof. Paul Klein). In addition in 1988, Professor Dierich became director of the Federal Bacteriology and Serology Institute (BBSUA). Thus the prior connection between the Institute for Hygiene and the BBSUA, essential for education not only of medical students, was re-established. As social medicine became a compulsory subject for the oral doctoral examinations, a Department for Social Medicine was established at the Institut für Hygiene in 1983 and Walter Kofler was appointed to its chair. According to a faculty decision in 1988 this department has become independent, but in 1999 was reunited with the Hygiene Institute, forced by the new university law (UOG 93), to form the new Institute for Hygiene and Social Medicine. Following a reorganisation of the federal health institutions, the BBSUA became again an integral part of the Institute for Hygiene and Social Medicine in 2002.

There is close collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for AIDS research, established in 1986, jointly headed by M.P. Dierich and H. Wachter (Institute of Medical Chemistry).

In 1991 the Institut für Hygiene decided to focus on environmental medicine in cooperacooperation with several institutes of the Innsbruck medical factury.

In 1994 the research groups of the institute got new labs and offices built on top of the old building at Schöpfstraße 41. A "L3-lab" equipped with all safety precautions was established for work with hazardous and pathogenic retroviruses.

The Austrian Reference Centre for Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli is established since 1999 at the Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology. The Austrian Reference Centres for Botulism and for Listeria monocytogenes were located at our division from 1999-2007, and they have now been taken over by governmental request by the Agency for Health and Food Safety.

The institute became part of Innsbruck Medical University generated by separating the Medical Faculty from the Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck within the scope of the new law (UOG 2002).
The name of the institute changed to “Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology” which forms the “Department of Hygiene, Microbiology and Social Medicine” at Innsbruck Medical University together with the “Division of Social Medicine”.

Manfred P. Dierich was appointed as Vice Rector for Education and Study Affairs from 2005-2009 and as Deputy Rector of the Medical University from 2008-2009, and he retired in 2009 at the end of the term.

The Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology was split into a 'Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology', headed by Cornelia Lass-Flörl, and a 'Division of Virology', headed by Dorothee von Laer.

Relocation of the area of research from Fritz-Pregl-Straße 3 into Peter-Mayr-Straße 4b. The area of diagnostics is still in Schöpfstraße 41.

Accrediation of the area of diagnostics - ÖNORM EN ISO 15189:13 -  since 25.09.2013