Renée Schroeder is an internationally recognised expert in the field of biochemistry and introduces CDS students to current developments in her First Semester course Introduction Regarding Programme Topics: Biomolecular Strategies, and the course Basics of Selected Subjects from Science and Technology in the Second Semester (together with Tanja Gesell). She was born in Brazil and moved to Austria in 1961 where she studied biochemistry at the University of Vienna, graduating in 1981. After postdoctoral studies at the University of Munich, the C.N.R.S. at Gif-sur-Yvette in France, and the New York State Department of Health, after the births of her sons in 1983 and 1985, she took a group leader position at the Department of Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Vienna in 1989. From 2007 to 2017, she was Professor for RNA biochemistry and Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Vienna.
Renée Schroeder’s research is focused on functional and structural aspects of non-coding RNAs and on the role and mechanism of proteins with RNA chaperone activity. RNA has many properties required for the origin of life, which is a self-generating process. The Schroeder lab has recently discovered RNAs that control their own synthesis, both in bacteria and eukaryotes. Public understanding of science and the promotion of women in science were two of Renée’s major concerns over the past 30 years. She has served on many international boards and is Editor-in-Chief of the science journal RNA Biology. She is a recipient of the L’Oréal Unesco special award for women in science, of the Eduard Buchner and the Wittgenstein awards, and is a member of EMBO. She also writes popular science books: Die Henne und das Ei (2011), Von Menschen, Zellen und Waschmaschinen (2014), and Die Erfindung des Menschen (2016), all published with Residenz Verlag.