Director of IT Systems
Amir Sadeghipour completed his Computer Science studies in 2008, in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing at the Technical University of Berlin. He worked as research assistant and conducted an interdisciplinary Ph.D. study in the interdisciplinary fields of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Bielefeld University in Germany. Since 2002 he has been working in several software development projects in a wide range of applications from test and requirement management software in automotive industry to the development of research prototypes in the fields of Computer Vision and Human-Computer Interaction. Since 2015 he has been working as a Senior Software Developer in OPTIMA research group in the department of Ophthalmology and Optometry. He is head of the IT System Development team of the Vienna Reading Center since January 2017.
Bianca S. Gerendas
Bianca S. Gerendas
Bianca S. Gerendas is the Managing Director of the Vienna Reading Center. She completed Medical School in 2009 at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where she in parallel obtained her Master of Science degree in Healthcare Management. Afterwards, Bianca Gerendas joined the VRC in 2010 first as a reader, later as a supervisor, and was responsible for Research and Development of the VRC since 2012. Since then, she also co-coordinates the young interdisciplinary OPTIMA Study Group, with the aim of individualized treatment for retinal diseases, based on automated image analysis and population based models from large-scale multimodal imaging data. The integration of OPTIMA developments into the VRC are her primary goals for the next years. Bianca Gerendas completed her doctoral thesis before joining the Medical University of Vienna in 2010 and is currently finishing her PhD in Medical Physics. She finished her Ophthalmology training in 2018 and is now a board certified ophthalmologist/retina specialist. Her primary research interests are in the field of retinal and choroidal imaging, AI-based image analysis and translational ophthalmic research in retinal diseases. In 2018, she also finished her habilitation (Assoc. Prof.) with the title "Imaging biomarkers, technology advances, big data and artificial intelligence: the future in ophthalmology
Director of Grading
Gábor Deák completed medical school at the Semmelweis University in Budapest in 2004, after which he started his residency at the 1st Department of Ophthalmology at the University. In 2007, he moved to the Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry at the Medical University of Vienna to continue his residency, becoming a board certified ophthalmologist in 2010. He joined the Vienna Reading Center as senior reader in 2007, and was appointed Medical Director of the VRC in 2008. In addition to his activities at the VRC, he is a consultant at the Department of Medical Retina and Uveitis Services.
Director of Operations
Study Operations Management
Theresia Pieler joined the Vienna Reading Center in 2007, combining her expertise from her earlier work in advertising with medical and scientific interests. Since 2008, she has been the Head of Administration and a project leader for clinical studies evaluated at the VRC.
Her passion is to ensure the best trial implementation and set up, providing consistent quality and smooth trial progress for sites and companies participating in studies. A decade of experience allows her to provide expert support in pre-study services, the study set-up phase, main study progress, quality management and data reconciliation.
Scientific and Strategic Director
Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry
Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth is Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, one of the largest academic institutions in ophthalmology in Europe. Professor Schmidt-Erfurth’s clinical activities include surgical and medical retina. She is the founder of the Vienna Reading Center. In her scientific research, she focuses on developing novel diagnostic techniques, in retinal imaging and new treatment strategies such as intravitreal pharmacotherapy. She serves furthermore as Adjunct Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Chicago and is President of the European Health Forum.