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New appointments to LMU

Munich, 04/28/2009

Prof. Dr. Thomas Preibisch
Faculty of Physics

Thomas Preibisch, Professor of Observational Astronomy since October 2008 at the University Observatory of LMU Munich, has dedicated himself to researching the formation and development of young stars. Professor Preibisch: “The most important reasons behind choosing Munich were the top-class faculty at the University Observatory, the excellent research environment for astronomy in Munich and Garching, and the positive developmental trend at the University Observatory, which can be seen, for example, from the growing number of professors and from the investments into the new telescope at Wendelstein Observatory.”
Preibisch, born in 1965, studied physics at the Universities of Regensburg and Würzburg. From 1992 to 1995, he finished his doctor’s degree at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Würzburg on the topic of X-ray observation of young stars. From 1992 to 1998, he worked as a postdoc at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Würzburg as part of the DFG priority program “Physics of Star Formation; investigations of global properties of star forming regions”. From 1999 to 2008, he was a research assistant in the Infrared Interferometry Group at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn. There, he analyzed spatially high-resolution images of young stars using speckle-interferometry, and since 2003 also using long-baseline interferometry on the “Very Large Telescope Interferometer” of the European Southern Observatory. One important focus of Preibisch’s work is the detailed study of individual young stars and their circumstellar disks using infrared-interferometry methods. This involves combining the light received by several telescopes spaced up to 200 meters apart using interferometry in order to achieve a significantly higher angular resolution, i.e. sharper images. These observations deliver completely new, detailed insights into the structure, dynamics and chemistry of the inner disk area – where earthlike planets could arise. A complementary work area is to determine global properties of star forming regions. “The aim of this,” Professor Preibisch explains, “is to reconstruct important parameters, such as the star formation history or the mass distribution of the stars, and to determine the influence of the environment on the formation and development of young stars.” He studies, for example, what influence the extremely strong UV radiation from high-mass stars has on the development of circumstellar disks of other young stars in their environment, and what implications this could have on the possibility of the formation of planets.


Prof. Dr. Carsten Reinemann
Faculty of Social Sciences

Carsten Reinemann was appointed the newly created Chair in Communication Science with a focus on Political Communication at LMU Munich. He currently is the vice director of the Department of Communication Research and Media Studies (IfKW) and member of the newly founded Munich Center on Governance, Communication, Public Policy, and Law (MCG). Professor Reinemann, born in 1971, studied mass communication, politics and psychology at the University of Mainz. From 1997 to 2003, he worked as a research assistant with Professor Jürgen Wilke at the Department of Communication at Mainz University, where he earned his doctorate in 2002. From 2002 to 2008, he was employed as research assistant at the same department. He received his venia legendi for communication science here in 2007. “I decided in favor of LMU Munich”, Professor Reinemann tells, “because it has an excellent infrastructure for research and teaching in the field of communication science, and the institute is one of the largest and strongest in research in Germany.” His focus is on political communication, election campaign research, televised debates, journalism, media effects and media policy. The aims of the new Political Communication chair at the Institute of Communications Science and Media Research (IfKW) of LMU are to analyze and evaluate political communications processes and their effects on society. Besides several monographs on televised debates in German national elections, media content, and journalistic coorientation, Professor Reinemann has published articles in major international journals like the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Press/Politics, European Journal of Communication and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. In Munich, Reinemann is now delighted with “the independence gained from the Chair and the chance to establish a new teaching field”.


Prof. Dr. Christian Begemann
Faculty of Language and Literary Studies

While at LMU Munich, Christian Begemann shall be concentrating, among other things, on literature from Goethe’s era and the classic and romantic periods. Since 1 October 2008, he has been Professor of New German Literary Studies in Munich. Begemann, born in 1954, studied German language and literature, history and philosophy at the University of Regensburg and at LMU Munich. In 1986, he earned his doctorate at LMU with his work “Furcht und Angst im Prozess der Aufklärung. Studien zu Literatur und Bewusstseinsgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts”. From 1987 to 1994, he was temporary Academic Council at the Institute of German Philology of the University of Würzburg, and from 1994 to 1999 he was Associate Professor. With a DFG stipendium, he completed his habilitation in 1994 with his work “Die Welt der Zeichen. Stifter-Lektüren”. Christian Begemann was a substitute professor at the Universities of Kiel, Munich, Karlsruhe and Bayreuth, and was also a guest professor at the Universities of Vienna and Innsbruck. Since the winter semester of 2000/2001, he held the Chair in New German Literature at the University of Bayreuth (UBT). Here, he established three new study courses, including the master “Literature and Media” as well as the international promotional program “Kulturbegegnungen – Cultural Encounters – Rencontres Culturelles”. Since 2002, he has been co-publisher of the “Internationalen Archivs für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur” (IASL). In 2006, he established the Jean Paul Research Center at UBT.
Professor Begemann’s main research is into 18th–20th Century literature. In this context, he deals, among other things, with the history of the body in literature, cultural anthropology and semiotics, theories of the aesthetic productivity of the early Renaissance and into the 20th Century, concepts of realism, and migrant literature. His latest book is a collection of cultural studies readings on vampirism in literature. About his plans at LMU, Professor Begemann says: “The focus of the Chair lies on literature from Goethe’s era and from the classical and romantic periods. The teaching shall follow an interdisciplinary, yet also comparative direction, where the other arts and the interdiscursive networking of literature shall be included in the sense of a knowledge-history and cultural-studies direction.” In his research, Professor Begemann intends to continue the Jean Paul Research Center and the International Archive for the Social History of German Literature, and to establish a larger research association on the topic of “Aesthetic Production”. He also plans to write monographs on the subjects of “Art and Eros” and “Unreadable Faces.  Physiognomy and Realism”.


Prof. Dr. Paula-Irene Villa
Faculty of Social Studies

Paula-Irene Villa has been Professor of Sociology with special focus on gender studies at LMU Munich since December 2008. “I chose LMU,” Professor Villa explains, “because it is an excellent university that also obviously values its social studies and humanities departments. It is not like that everywhere; not by a long way.” The professor from Argentina, born in Chile in 1968, studied sociology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. With her work “Sexy Bodies. Eine soziologische Reise durch den Geschlechtskörper”, she received her doctorate in 1998 as a stipendiary at the DFG Graduate College “Gender Relations and Social Change”. From 1998 to 2001, she worked as research assistant and coordinator of the Marie-Jahoda Guest Professorship for International Women and Gender Research at RUB. From 2001 to 2008, she was assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology of Leibniz University, Hannover. There, in 2007, she completed her habilitation at the Faculty of Philosophy with a (cumulative) work on the category “Gender in Sociology” and received the Venia Legendi for sociology. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, she was guest lecturer and guest professor at the Universities of Fribourg and Innsbruck.
Paula-Irene Villa’s teaching and research fields are gender studies, social theory, the sociology of body and culture, and parenthood. In the future, she will focus on deepening the theoretical and empirical understanding of gender, body techniques as part of reflexive (post)modernity, socialization as a somatic process, motherhood and fatherhood at the intersection of social inequalities and gendering processes, and of birth as a social issue. Institutionally, Professor Villa deals foremost with the networking, teaching and research of Gender Studies at LMU, focusing on the MA and graduate phase, with regard to the institutionalization of Bavarian and Transalpine cooperation, i.e. with Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy.
In Munich, Professor Villa looks forward to a “confident and dynamic institute”. Here, she intends to “intensify and reinforce the networking within LMU and to cooperate beyond LMU”. “I am also very happy that we can at last all move to Munich with the family and that, after eight years of long-distance commuting, I can see my kids more often.”


Prof. Dr. Jonas Schreyögg
Munich School of Management

Jonas Schreyögg was appointed to LMU as Professor for Health Services Management at the beginning of this year. At the same time, he is also heading the department for "Health Services Management” at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich – Research Center for Environmental Health, which has been established by this center in cooperation with LMU. “I chose LMU and the Helmholz Center Munich,” Schreyögg explains, “because I found very good research conditions here, and the environment is highly dynamic. There are many academics at LMU who are focusing on similar research and are working on top-class projects. Given the faculty’s good reputation, I expect good students with whom I can work together both academically and practically at the Management School of LMU. I also like Munich a lot as a city for its cultural diversity. Above all, being so close to the mountains is excellent.”
Before being appointed to LMU, Schreyögg was an assistant professor at TU Berlin from 2007 to 2008, where he also completed his habilitation in 2008. From 2006 to 2007, he was Harkness Fellow at Stanford University, and from 2004 to 2006 he was senior research fellow at the Department of Health Care Management at TU Berlin. He has already received numerous awards and commendations, including the Wolfgang-Ritter Award for Economic Research, the GRPG Award for Health Care Policy and Law, the Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund in New York and the BMBF Award for Service Research. Professor Schreyögg has spent several research stays in Norway, Singapore, Taiwan and the USA. In terms of the teaching program, the new chair has set his sights on training the students into competent managers, advisers or researchers in the health sector. Offered alongside the classical courses on hospital management are also the topics of disease management, outcomes research and performance measurement in health care.
He sees two particular points of focus for research in the immediate future: “Firstly the management of service providers in health care – that is above all the methodical improvement of the measurement of economic performance and quality – as well as the organization of hospitals, medical care centers etc. And, secondly, the entire subject of chronic illnesses, by which I mean the management of care for the chronically ill and the economic evaluation of therapies and types of organization regarding this issue.”


Prof. Dr. Reinhard K. Straubinger
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Professor Reinhard K. Straubinger has held the Chair in Bacteriology and Mycology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of LMU since October last year. There were several reasons for opting for LMU: “Firstly, LMU is my ‘alma mater’. I have returned to my first university training school after 15 years of scientific work in Germany and abroad. Secondly, the top-class scientific environment in Munich and LMU – and its veterinary medicine faculty in particular – gave me the opportunity to revive and expand the Chair in Bacteriology and Mycology after its long absence.”
Born in 1964, Professor Straubinger studied physics up to the intermediate diploma and veterinary medicine at the LMU Munich. From 1992 to 2000, he authored scientific works on the topics of canine Lyme disease, helicobacter infection and its immunological effects in dogs and cats at the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health of Cornell University, New York. In 1993, he concluded his studies in veterinary medicine at LMU, and received his veterinarian medical license in 1993. Following a locum in a privately owned practice was his dissertation on the topic of pathogenesis of canine Lyme disease at LMU Munich. In 1997, he received his PhD at Cornell University, USA. This was followed by work as laboratory head at the James A. Baker Institute and as research assistant at the Institute of Immunology in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Leipzig.
Since 2001, Straubinger has been veterinarian surgeon specializing in immunology; from 2001 to 2008, he was head of the scientific group junior academics “Molecular Infection Medicine” of the Biotechnological Biomedical Center (BBZ) of the University of Leipzig. In 2003, he completed his habilitation in the field of immunology and infection medicine, and was a privatdozent at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Leipzig University until 2008. Professor Straubinger’s field of teaching and research is bacterial and fungus-related infectious diseases in animals. In this field, he focuses in particular on infections and zoonoses transmitted by ticks. His future research shall also deal with the mutual effects of simultaneously occurring infections and on the development and validation of new diagnostic methods.

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