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Polymun Founder, Prof. Hermann Katinger

Prof. Hermann Katinger, born 1941, has long term experience in the field of microbiology and biotechnology. In the beginning of his scientific career the focus was on yeast fermentation, graduating with a Master degree in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1971. His further work was dedicated to large scale fermentation for industrial applications for which he was promoted to associate professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in 1977.

It was during this time that he started to expand his interests to mammalian cell culture developing a new type of fermenter for mass cultivation, the airlift bioreactor. In 1976 he was founding member of ESACT, the European Society for Animal Cell Technology. His expertise furthermore allowed him to engineer and design the first industrial plant using animal cells, a plant for alpha-interferon at Bender (today Boehringer Ingelheim Austria) starting its production in 1980. 

Since 1981 Hermann Katinger is full university professor and was chairman of the Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, until 2009. From 1982 to 1986 he was dean of the faculty of Food- and Biotechnology. Under his chairmanship the Institute of Applied Microbiology advanced to one of the leading centres of competence in the field of modern biotechnology. One of many achievements was the design of a new high cell density continuous perfused production system for recombinant protein production with adherent animal cells using a fluidized bed reactor, new macroporous microcarriers and protein free media, a system in industrial use since 1989. Another achievement was the establishment of a large scale hybridoma technology for monoclonal antibody production in protein-free media. He headed Polymun Scientific GmbH as CEO since founding the company in 1992 until 2010. Within the last 10 years Prof. Katinger co-authored over 200 peer reviewed papers in the fields of biotechnology, virology and cell physiology and is one of the most cited authors. Furthermore, he is inventor of a series of patents. 

Of the awards Hermann Katinger has received he values two in particular. First, the medal of ESACT for pioneering animal cell culture technology. Second, the Wilhelm Exner Medal, the highest award of the Austrian Society of Trade for Science & Technology which he shares with an illustrious society with personalities such as Ferdinand Porsche and several Nobel laureates.