MEET QPS AT AD/PD™ 2024; March 5-9, Lisbon, Portugal

Meet the Team



Gerhard Klambauer, MBA

Head of Finance
I hold an MBA degree of the University of Graz, Austria. At QPS Austria, I am responsible for Finance, Human Resources and Legal Affairs. My motto: When my company is doing well, I am doing well too.

Manuela Prokesch, PhD

Director of Neuropharmacology

I received my PhD in Biology at the University of Graz, Austria, characterizing a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. During the last 20+ years I held various positions within QPS Austria, among others I was Head of Animal Facility and Director of Quality Assurance, both for several years. Since 2022, I am heading the Neuropharmacology department – a job where I can combine my fascination for science and my desire to help people every day.


Robert Wronski, PhD, MBA

Head of Administration

I am a biologist with a PhD in Neuroscience and Biochemistry from the University of Graz, Austria, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota and the Vienna University of Economics. After heading several departments, such as the in vitro and clinical department, I am now Head of Administration. I really enjoy ensuring perfect conditions for my colleagues’ research work. New interesting things every day – that is what working for our customers, science and QPS have in common.

Business Development

Aljaz Bracic

Aljaz Bracic

Business Development Assistant

I studied media and communication in Koper, Slovenia. The acquired skills proved to be valuable at my current position at QPS Austria. On the one hand, I support our Business Development team in their daily tasks. On the other hand, I collaborate closely with our Marketing team and thus act as an interface between the two groups. With my work I can contribute to custom-built research every day, as the needs of not even two clients are the same.


Ewald Auer, MSc.

Director of Business Development

I joined the QPS Neuropharmacology team after completing my Master of Science in Microbiology at the University of Graz, Austria. I have gained extensive experience in various departments and labs at QPS Neuropharmacology and have special expertise in rodent surgery and tissue sampling techniques. As a study director, I was responsible for client studies for several years. In 2016, I joined the business development team. I have a strong “can do” attitude and love working with people to find solutions to complex challenges.

Roland Rabl

Roland Rabl

Business Development Manager

I am a behavioral biologist by training and studied biology at the University of Graz, Austria. At QPS Neuropharmacology I gained a lot of experience in establishment and improvement of behavioral tests and animal model characterization. Currently, I am acting as Business Development Manager as well as Deputy Head of Study Coordination, and thus plan and coordinate preclinical in vivo projects for both R&D as well as client projects. As a passionate researcher I am always looking for new approaches and believe that one can always learn something new, every time and from everybody.


Shirin Sharghi, PhD

Business Development Manager

Science fascinates me in many ways, and thus I followed this passion by pursuing a PhD in neuroscience, where I concluded that biology could make a difference! Connecting with scientists around the world gives me hope every day that we, as humans, truly care about the lives of others. My daily responsibilities at QPS Neuropharmacology as a Business Development Manager are to liaise with our clients, contracting with them and designing studies for exciting new projects that could one day represent an important step towards improving someone’s life, no matter how big or small that step might be!


Stefanie Krassnig, PhD

Business Development Manager

I hold a PhD degree in Neuroscience from the Medical University of Graz, Austria. My PhD project was performed in collaboration with QPS Neuropharmacology, and I had the opportunity to work in all departments of QPS Neuropharmacology. Now I am Business Development Manager and responsible for managing all tasks that are required to initiate a study with us. With teamwork we can make the dream work to find a cure for neurodegenerative and rare diseases.


Vera Niederkofler, PhD

Business Development Manager

My passion lies in neuroscience with a focus on neurodegeneration, neurodevelopment, and mouse genetics. I have earned my PhD at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and spent several years as postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, as well as at Harvard Medical School, Boston, US, exploring how the brain is wired. My motivation in life is aptly mirrored in Nelson Mandela’s quote: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Department Heads


Daniela Brunner, PhD

Head of In Vivo Research Department, Study Director

I hold a PhD degree in Biology from the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria. At QPS Neuropharmacology, I am heading the In Vivo Research Department and as an expert in in vivo research, I am responsible for a smooth project realization. Science is the Poetry of Reality.


Joerg Neddens, PhD

Head Histology Department, Study Director

I studied biology, then specialized in neuroanatomy and left with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Bielefeld, Germany. As a postdoc I spent five years at the NIH in Bethesda, MD, adding molecular biology to my area of expertise. In 2010, I joined the histology department of QPS Neuropharmacology. I have been enjoying over 25 years in brain anatomy and histology, and yet I learn something new every day – being a scientist really is a privilege!


Magdalena Daurer, PhD MBA

Head of Research & Development and Deputy Head of Histology

I am a biochemist and behavioral physiologist by training with a PhD degree from the University of Graz, as well as an executive MBA from California Lutheran University. I joined QPS in 2012 and, since then lead multiple customers as well as internal R&D projects. Today, I am responsible for managing the inspiring R&D team and projects as well as assisting the Head of Histology. Supporting the research community by assembling the puzzles of various neurodegenerative and rare diseases drives my passion every single day.


Sara Peinkiher, MSc.

Head of Animal Facility

After studying Biotechnology, I decided to continue my education with a Master of Science in Industrial Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I had the opportunity to work with laboratory animals. I continued working in this profession at QPS Neuropharmacology up to my current position, where I am responsible for the animal facility team and animals. “Progress has little to do with speed, but much to do with direction.” – Unknown


Stefan Ebner-Benke, PhD, MBA

Head of Study Coordination, Study Director

I am a molecular biologist by training and hold a PhD degree from the University Vienna, Austria, as well as an executive MBA from California Lutheran University. At QPS Neuropharmacology, I lead the study coordination team, and thus coordinate the preclinical project management. As a passionate scientist with strong business acumen, I have the patient in my heart, and our client’s success in my mind.

Tina Loeffler

Tina Loeffler, PhD

Head of In Vitro Research Department, Study Director

As Head of in vitro Research, my primary responsibility is to establish, optimize and standardize cell-based and cell-free assays together with an innovative and great team. Over the span of more than a decade, I got the opportunity to grow with QPS Neuropharmacology, gaining experience by supporting numerous client studies and broadening my knowledge as a neuroscientist. My aim is to deliver the best possible drug testing platforms to our clients and to facilitate the discovery of innovative treatments that can make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

Study Directors


Aaron Fantina-Woblistin, PhD

R&D Officer and Study Director

As a devoted scientist, I was fortunate to receive my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. At the Research and Development Department of QPS Neuropharmacology, I dedicate myself to the establishment of new methods and models, as well as refining existing processes, striving for efficiency and effectiveness. My credo is to never stop learning and a problem is just a solution in disguise, waiting to be discovered.

Benedikt Kien

Benedikt Kien, PhD

Study Director

Following my undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology, I joined the Doctoral College Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease (DK-MCD) and obtained my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Graz, Austria. As a Study Director at QPS Neuropharmacology, I coordinate preclinical studies for our clients and ensure a smooth process from sample arrival to final report. I am passionate about science and enjoy working with people who try to make a difference.

David Amschl

David Amschl, PhD

Vice Head In Vivo Research and Study Director

I am a behavioral biologist by training and hold a PhD degree from the University Graz, Austria. At QPS Neuropharmacology, I am the Vice Head of the in vivo Research Department and Study Director. It is very important to me to coordinate the projects for my customers well and to keep them up to date over the whole study period. My motto: If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal.

Estibaliz Etxeberria Rekalde

Estibaliz Etxeberria Rekalde, MSc.

Study Director

I am a Biologist with a Master of Science degree from the University of the Basque Country, Spain. I started working for QPS Neuropharmacology in 2015 in the histology department, where I had the opportunity to further increase my knowledge and grow professionally. By now, I am part of the Study Director’s team, mainly coordinating Biobank and Histology studies to deliver quality results for our customers and contribute to the advancement of neuropharmacology research.

Irantzu Perez Ruiz

Irantzu Pérez Ruiz, PhD

Study Director

I am a biologist holding a PhD degree in Biomedicine Research from the University of The Basque Country, Spain. After finishing my education and starting my career in Spain, my interest in science and the development of biomedicine led me to QPS Neuropharmacology, where I am part of the Study Director’s team coordinating in vitro studies.

Maria Posch

Maria Posch, PhD

Study Director

I am a biologist with a PhD in Neurobiology and Histology from the University of Graz, Austria. At QPS Neuropharmacology, I am part of the Study Director’s team, mainly coordinating in vivo studies. I believe that only together we can get things moving, enabling a better understanding of diseases and their treatment.

Tobias Pendl

Tobias Pendl, PhD

Study Director

I received my PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Graz, Austria, focusing on the role of autophagy in aging and age-associated disease in various model organisms, including yeast, Drosophila, and mice. As a Study Director at QPS Neuropharmacology, I employ my passion to coordinate preclinical studies for our clients with the claim to provide the best quality of data and samples possible. I am excited to help our customers to make a difference in the field of neurodegeneration.