How the director of an Institute found his calling while torching his room

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An interview about med360 with Wolfgang Graier, Managing Director of the Gottfried-Schatz Research Center, Head Chair of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Medical University of Graz, Director of the Graz NIKON Center of Excellence, and Managing Director of Next Generation Fluorescence Imaging.

You work in the field of molecular biology & biochemistry. Can you provide us with a brief insight into your daily work?

My work mainly involves a lot of administration and teaching, but research is and always will remain my passion. It ultimately became clear to me while “experimenting” a great deal during my adolescence. I remember once mixing all kinds of strong-smelling liquids that I could find in my parents’ house and bringing them to a boil over a candle – with groundbreaking and downright destructive results as far as my room was concerned (laughs). In my current research I am primarily occupied with mitochondria, their regulation and role in serious diseases. Mitochondria play a major role in the aging process, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We work hard on grasping their meaning and learning more about the molecular mechanisms of aging so that we could prevent age-related diseases altogether someday. Which means the goal being not necessarily to live longer, but to stay healthy even at old age. In a nutshell, according to my father-in-law: “You are not working towards a longer life, but towards a healthier death.”

With that regard, it is also crucial to be on top of medical publications. What are the options in general from your point of view?

There are various options, depending on one’s preferences. Google Scholar or PubMed are well-known tools. However, med360 has quickly become my main source of information. The romantic days of visiting the library are clearly over (smiles).

Since when have you been using med360 and how often do you use it?

In 2017 I attended the first med360 presentation in Graz and was immediately taken. I’ve been using it every day ever since.

Do you have a preferred time to use the app to find out which new publications in your subject area have appeared?

I am an early riser and usually start my day around half past four in the morning. First off, I take care of most pressing email correspondence and go on browsing through the latest publications on med360. Next, I solve one or two Sudokus. I primarily use the app on my smartphone and on my Google Chromebook.

 

Rising this early in the morning isn’t for everyone, what motivates you?

I am an enthusiastic morning athlete and run about seventy minutes almost every day. In my experience and as you get older, it is much easier to exercise earlier in the day. By now I have circled the world kilometer-wise and have swum the distance between Europe and North America – I call it “Terrathlon.” I am currently starting my second one.

Why med360 rather than other apps? What is the advantage for you?

My lab staff and myself are devoted med360 users. The app proved to be solid, swift and easy to use, and meets all the criteria to quickly provide the most crucial information I need. I receive between 2-20 references each day, which I then read and save as a pdf-file in another program (papers). Should something go wrong with the app, it can be fixed in no time. This was rather difficult to achieve with other solutions.

What do you read if it is not a medical publication?

I read quite a lot and on various subjects. Anything from (historical) thrillers like “Don Cavelli and the Dead Cardinal” to books about history and astronomy. Currently I’m reading “Matou” by Michael Köhlmeier and yesterday I got “The Whale and the End of the World” by John Ironmonger.

 

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