The Medical University of Graz in Austria had its beginnings in 1863, when Emperor Franz Josef founded the faculty of medicine at the Karl Franzens-University of Graz.
However, it was not until 2004 that the faculty became an independent university, opening as the Centre for Medical Research with a library and Learning Centre. At the same time, a Nursing Science programme was launched.
The university was an early supporter of female doctors, admitting women since 1900. Seven years later, Dr Octavia Auguste Aigner-Rollett, graduate of the University, became the first woman to open a practice in Graz. Today, the university has a Laura Bassi Centre of Expertise, part of a Europe-wide series of such research centres which are lead by top-level female scientists.
The Ludwig Boltzman Institute, launched in 2007, is just one of an Austrian network of specialised research institutes named after physicist Ludwig Boltsmann. In the same year, the university launhed its first international PhD programme.
Other facilities include a state-of-the-art MRI scanner research facility, the Bad Aussee Hospital for psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, and in 2009 became the first in Austria to open a Clinical Skills Centre.
Its alumni include Fritz Pregel, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Julius Wagner von Jauregg, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Pharmacologist Otto Loewi, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1936 for his discoveries about synapse signal transmission, was forced to flee two years later to New York University after the Nazis arrested him and many other Jewish scientists.