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© Astrid Eckert, Technische Universität München
2021-09-29

DZL researcher Fabian Theis is awarded the Hamburg Science Prize 2021

News 2021-293 EN

The Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg is honouring Fabian Theis as a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence in biomedical applications, above all in the area of single-cell biology.

As Director of the Institute of Computational Biology at Helmholtz Zentrum München and DZL Principal Investigator, Fabian Theis uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to answer biomedical questions. With his research, he has made an essential contribution to the development of innovative biomedical AI-based methods. Fabian Theis is a leader in his field not just in Germany, but worldwide. He is one of the few researchers whose discoveries have led directly to clinical applications.

“The limited availability of annotated data is a major challenge for medicine,” Theis stressed. “We have therefore made it our goal to develop methods that require less data and which are therefore suitable for clinical use.”

As the Chair of the Jury and President of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg, Edwin J. Kreuzer comments: “With the Hamburg Science Prize 2021 we honour his pathbreaking work in the field of AI in biomedical applications, above all in the area of single-cell biology.”

Single Cell Analysis - First Symposium of the DZL Research Field in 2021

Within the DZL, Fabian Theis is also pushing the relatively young field of "Single Cell Analysis". At the DZL-wide symposium in May 2021, he demonstrated the possibilities of pooling and jointly analyzing single cell data from different studies or clinical cohorts in combination with demographic data. This allows researchers to distinguish between cellular changes in the lung occuring physiologically during as part of healthy aging process and pathological changes characterizing early or late stages of a particular disease.

It also became clear that in the future the DZL's Biobanking & Data Management platform as well as the DZL data warehouse will play a key role in future projects such as integrated analysis of single cell data from different clinical cohorts and clinical electronic medical records.

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The Hamburg Science Prize 2021 was dedicated to the topic “Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.” The prize is endowed by the Hamburgische Stiftung für Wissenschaften, Entwicklung und Kultur Helmut und Hannelore Greve.

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