• “The question is not whether effective treatments and cures will be found, but when they will be found.”

    “The question is not whether effective treatments and cures will be found, but when they will be found.”

What we do

Support for cutting-edge international research

History

Committed to an ambitious mission

The driving forces behind Wings for Life are the two-time motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner and the founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz. In 2003, Kinigadner's son Hannes had a tragic accident which left him tetraplegic.

Moved by the dreadful injury, Kinigadner and Mateschitz invited leading scientists from across the world to come to Salzburg. It soon became clear that, contrary to common opinion, there is legitimate reason to hope that traumatic spinal cord injury can be cured. Ground-breaking discoveries made by Prof. Dr. Sam David in 1981 and by Prof. Dr. Martin Schwab in the early 1990s showed that injured nerve cells in the spinal cord are capable of regeneration after specific types of treatment.

Kinigadner and Mateschitz soon realised that research into spinal cord injury was underfunded. Paralysis is not considered a widespread condition and therefore investing millions in research to help a relatively small number of people was generally considered an unprofitable endeavour.

This realisation prompted Kinigadner and Mateschitz to set up the Wings for Life research foundation – with the goal of finding ways to cure all people affected.

Organisation

One Team. One Mission.

We strongly believe in achieving our goal.

Team

  • Anita Gerhardter

    CEO

    Anita Gerhardter
  • Elisa Krimbacher

    Event Marketing

    Elisa Krimbacher
  • Dr. Rosi Lederer

    Scientific Coordinator

    Dr. Rosi Lederer
  • Mag. (FH) Peter Luckeneder

    Finance Management

    Mag. (FH) Peter Luckeneder
  • Dipl. jur. Marco Gröbner

    Marketing & Communication

    Dipl. jur. Marco Gröbner
  • Wolfgang Illek

    Project Management

    Wolfgang Illek
  • Daniela Rupp, BA MA

    Event Management

    Daniela Rupp, BA MA
  • Nikki Wilson, BSc

    Head of Wings for Life UK

    Nikki Wilson, BSc
  • Rebecca Holt, BA MA

    Event Mgmt. Wings for Life UK

    Rebecca Holt, BA MA
  • Dr. Verena May

    Scientific Coordinator

    Dr. Verena May
  • Emma Harris, BA

    Interim Head of Wings for Life UK

    Emma Harris, BA
  • Hannah Bostock, BMus

    Partnerships Manager UK

    Hannah Bostock, BMus
  • Agnes Jeschko

    Teamassistant

    Agnes Jeschko

Executive Board

  • Anita Gerhardter

    Anita Gerhardter
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Schwab

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Schwab
  • Heinz Kinigadner

    Founder

    Heinz Kinigadner

Scientific Director

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Schwab

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Schwab

Internal Scientific Advisory Board

  • Prof. Dr. Ludwig Aigner

    Prof. Dr. Ludwig Aigner
  • Prof. Dr. Hartmut Pelinka

    Prof. Dr. Hartmut Pelinka

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Prof. Dr. Sam David

    Prof. Dr. Sam David
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Sofroniew

    Prof. Dr. Michael Sofroniew
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl
  • Prof. Dr. Zhigang He

    Prof. Dr. Zhigang He
  • Prof. Dr. Stephen Strittmatter

    Prof. Dr. Stephen Strittmatter
  • Prof. Dr. Armin Curt

    Prof. Dr. Armin Curt
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Lassmann

    Prof. Dr. Hans Lassmann

Advisory Council

  • Dkfm. Dietrich Mateschitz

    Founder

    Dkfm. Dietrich Mateschitz
  • Prof. Dr. Herbert Resch

    Prof. Dr. Herbert Resch
  • DI. Stefan Pierer

    DI. Stefan Pierer

Trustees UK

  • Anita Gerhardter

    Anita Gerhardter
  • Andy Shaw

    Chairman

    Andy Shaw
  • Dominik Mitsch

    Dominik Mitsch
  • Tim Krieglstein

    Tim Krieglstein
  • David Hornby

    David Hornby