The EAN Head Office in Vienna, Austria, is the nerve centre of the European Academy of Neurology, serving as the main base of EAN activity, with various personnel also operating from elsewhere around Europe. With so many of our staff interacting with EAN Members from a distance, but relatively few chances to meet in person, we decided to use this platform to introduce the team behind the scenes. Each month, we aim to present two of our faithful crew. This time it’s Patrycja, our Acting Head of Membership, and Martin from the Office/IT Department.
Name: Patrycja Zak
Role: Acting Head of Membership
Joined: September 2021
I applied for the Membership Assistant position at EAN as the vision and mission of the organisation attracted me strongly. I perceive neurology as one of the most interesting science branches and to be a tiny part of the development in this field is a great honour for me. Even though the Membership Department is one of the smallest, our work is crucial for every other department as we have direct contact with our current and future members, and we are the first ones they approach when they want to get involved in any kind of EAN activities. Since February 2022, I am happy to be the acting department head while the Head of the Membership Department, Lucia Pavlakova, is on maternity leave. This is a great challenge but at the same time an opportunity for me to learn as much as possible and support EAN in most efficient way.
I moved to Vienna a year ago, from Krakow, Poland, where I have spent all my adult life. I graduated from the Jagiellonian University as a lawyer and then passed the bar exam. Most of the time I was working either as a paralegal or legal advisor, but I also spent some years of my career working as a procurement specialist and controller in EU-funded infrastructure projects. Before starting to work at the EAN, I worked for four years as an attorney at law in the second biggest hospital in Poland. My fields of expertise were clinical trial agreements and public procurements. As I never had the courage to study medicine, working in a medicine related field, with so many brilliant minds is partially fulfilling my dreams.
When I am not working, I spend as much time as possible outdoors. In Vienna and its neighbourhood this is easy, as the number of woods, bike paths and trails are uncountable. My new discovery is MTB trail riding and ski touring, but I also love climbing and hiking. I am a great fan of the EAN Brain Health Strategy, especially the part focusing on physical activity.
Name: Martin Dunzinger
Role: IT Coordinator
Joined: September 2021
After two years at an Austrian insurer, I came here to the EAN and its wonderful team to work in the Office/IT department as an IT-coordinator. I assist in coordinating the ongoing database projects, develop our own tools to process the collected data, prepare analyses and handle hardware issues in the office. The EAN collects a lot of data from various sources, which I gladly take care of, and I consider myself to be the go-to data person.
I was born in Innsbruck and when I was two years old my family moved to Vöcklabruck in upper Austria. At the age of 15 I started tourism school in Bad Ischl. I wanted to learn how to cook, since I always enjoyed that. Yet after finishing there, I went to Innsbruck to begin my university studies; cooking wasn’t for me. Luckily, I made the right decision and changed my major from architecture to management and economics and in 2018 I finished my master’s degree in applied economics.
In 2019 I moved to Vienna to start my position in the risk management department at the Vienna Insurance Group. There I started coding my first scripts, working with databases, and generally working a lot with computers. The financial data was not really satisfying for me and thus came my decision to leave this position to begin something new.
In my leisure time I like to cook, do sports and from time to time play some video games. I have enjoyed helping in the kitchen since early on in my life and after tourism school cooking became a relaxing hobby. I like seeing the content faces of nice people that enjoy my food, although it took me all day to prepare it.
Another thing that has stuck with me since tourism school is running and hiking. I like being on my feet and in nature, breathing fresh air while completely exhausting my body. In addition, I picked up swimming and in the last years cycling as well. So, I guess the first triathlon is not far away. But this is not really my motivation, I just want to feel the rush of being out of breath and almost unable to walk.
Lastly it must be said that the team of the EAN is something I have never experienced in my life. It is a pleasure to work here, and I am grateful for my wonderful colleagues and the knowledge I can acquire. The congress 2022 was the first for me and I will not forget it. I am looking forward to Budapest 2023! See you there.