Dr. Michael Comer

Vienna Institute of Biotechnology

Dr. Comer is a visiting Professor at the Vienna Institute of Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria. Formally held Professorship from Queen's University and the Ulster University Belfast; was the Head of Research at Fighting Blindness, was the first Director of Research at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital including the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght; and Director of the Life Sciences Division at Science Foundation Ireland. He was to rise to the position of Vice President for Biotechnological R&D at Boehringer Mannheim's (now Roche), Tutzing and Penzberg facilities. There he headed-up several departments and was responsible for conducting research into diagnostics, molecular biologics and biopharmaceuticals including being responsible for the instigation and the establishment of one of the largest animal cell culture facilities in the world. In Ireland he founded two successful Biotech companies and acted as CEO of both. He was first Chairman of the Irish Bio-Industry Association (IBIA) and Vice Chair of the Health and Life Sciences Panel, of the Irish Government's "Foresight Exercise". The resulting recommendations of this were to initiate the establishment of Science Foundation Ireland with an R&D Budget of some 650 million euro. He was the Chairman of the European Society of Animal Cell Technology's (ESACT) Organising Committee for the 21st Meeting held in June 2009 in Dublin, where over 1,000 delegates attended. He is Founding Chairman of the Platform for Advanced Cellular Therapies (PACT), an initiative in Austria involving collaboration of several universities on the use of cell based therapy.

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