Tanja Gesell is a Vienna-based artist and scientist and introduces CDS students to current developments with the First Semester course Introduction Regarding Programme Topics: Biomolecular Strategies and the Second Semester course Basics of Selected Subjects from Science and Technology (together with Renée Schroeder). She holds master’s degrees in biology and fine arts from the University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf. In 2003 Rosemarie Trockel selected Tanja Gesell to join her master class as Meisterschüler. In 2009, she obtained her Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Vienna. Before her maternity leave, she also did research at Harvard University and at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and earlier at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, UK. She currently works as a researcher at the Department of Structural and Computational Biology, University of Vienna.
Tanja Gesell’s approach is to use scientific and artistic practice to examine the structural concepts that underlie molecular research. She has developed various software packages, for example, for the simulation of sequence evolution, detection of non-coding RNAs, drug-development, and visualization. She currently teaches at three different universities: besides the University of Applied Arts, she teaches at the University of Vienna as well as at the FH Campus University of Applied Science, Structure Prediction and Molecular Design. At the University of Vienna, she is a cofounder of and lecturer at the new Connectivity Seminar. In this seminar, connections between various science disciplines, the humanities, and the arts are established with regard to the aspect of structure.