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Artificial Intelligence meets Health

- from desk to bench to bedside -



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The resolution revolution and the consequences for Heidelberg

10:30 - 11:00


Stefan W. Hell

Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg & Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen

Stefan W. Hell is a physicist recognized for his pioneering research in far-field optical nanoscopy, also known as super-resolution microscopy. Hell was the first to demonstrate how one can decouple the resolution of a lens-based fluorescence microscope from diffraction and increase it down to a fraction of the wavelength of light, to the nanometer scale. Ever since the work of Ernst Abbe (1873) this feat had been believed impossible. After studies in Heidelberg (PhD in 1990) and postdoctoral work at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hell laid out the principle of STED microscopy while on a research fellowship in Turku, Finland (1994). STED (standing for Stimulated Emission Depletion of the molecular fluorescent state) became the first viable proposal for a diffraction-unlimited fluorescence microscopy. The underlying idea, namely of discerning molecules (at subdiffraction length scales) by transiently preparing a subset of them in a non-signaling state, underlies all the practical diffraction-unlimited super-resolution fluorescence microscopy concepts to date. For these achievements and their significance for other fields, Hell has received numerous awards. In 2014 he shared the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A recent breakthrough achievement, molecule-size resolution on the order of 1 nanometer with a concept termed MINFLUX, has enabled the ultimate level of resolution to be reached. 3D fluorescence “nanoscopy” with ~1-nm resolution is expected to have profound impact in the life and materials sciences, affording novel measurement opportunities for structure and dynamics at yet unchartered length and time scales. 


Artificial intelligence: What exactly is it, and how can it support drug discovery?

16:20 - 16:50


Lindsay Edwards


Lindsay Edwards is VP Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) for GSK Pharma R&D, having previously led the Digital, Data & Analytics Unit for Respiratory. Originally a specialist in systems biology, he joined GSK in 2014 from a Lectureship in Physiology at King’s College London. His background spans human physiology and biochemistry, metabolomics, computational biology and data science; he has extensive experience of applying novel analytical methods (including machine learning) to biological datasets. He has previously held academic appointments in both Australia and the UK. His interests currently centre on the use of contemporary analytical tools (including AI) to bring transformational change to drug discovery. He is a GSK Senior Fellow, holds a DPhil in Physiology from Oxford, has published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and speaks regularly at international conferences.
Alongside his job at GSK, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a member of the scientific strategy board of the Xtreme Everest Project and has been an Academic Editor for Nature Scientific Reports. He is a former Google SciFoo attendee (2015).


Adrian Carter.jpg, a digital platform for sharing chemical tools

14:40 - 15:00


Adrian Carter

Boehringer Ingelheim

Adrian Carter is vice president and global head of Discovery Research Coordination at Boehringer Ingelheim where he is responsible for guiding research policy, leading strategic and operational initiatives, and overseeing competitive intelligence activities. He graduated from the University of Wales in Cardiff with an honours degree in applied biology, has a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the Department of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, and an executive MBA from the University of Mainz. His career at Boehringer Ingelheim spans over 33 years including 8 years as head of neuropharmacology. Adrian subsequently spent 10 years in business development where he led the negotiations for several large licensing collaborations, co-commercialization deals, and patent agreements. Adrian represents Boehringer Ingelheim on the board of trustees for the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), the board of trustees of the Scientific and Medical Institute (NMI) in Reutlingen, as well as being vice chairperson of the Research and Innovation Strategy (RIS) Working Group of EFPIA and a member of the strategic advisory board of BioRN.

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Value and Challenges of Data-Explosion in Pharma R&D​

15:00 - 15:20


Lars Greiffenberg


Lars Greiffenberg holds a M.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and has more than 15 years of experience in the field of integrated R&D IT solutions and translational informatics. He held different R&D IT management positions at Aventis Pharma and Sanofi-Aventis in Frankfurt before relocating to the Sanofi site in Toulouse, France where he was Global Head of Solution Center Translational Medicine with responsibility to manage and lead a global program to enable translational science at Sanofi. In 2014 he joined AbbVie in Ludwigshafen (Germany) as director of R&D IT and Translational Informatics. In this role he is heading business IT support covering data and solutions from early discovery up to Medical Affairs. In 2017 he extended his responsibilities including now global Library Sciences at AbbVie. He is driven by the ambition to transform the way we access, consume and leverage literature in the future. He recently established a team at AbbVie, dedicated to use modern methods and algorithms to extract and visualize mechanistic disease information from literature content. In 2018 he further enlarged his area of responsibility to incorporate the Academic Partnerships Organization which is leveraging an AbbVie Campus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Lars is active in several pre-competitive organizations including IMI, PRISME Forum, Pistoia Alliance and EIT Health.

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Artificial Intelligence - Benchmarking research in the Rhein-Neckar Region and implications for Life Science Players

15:20 - 15:40


Maria de Kleijn

Elsevier B.V.

Maria is Senior Vice President Analytical Services for Elsevier. In this role she is responsible for bespoke analytical services to universities, funding bodies and governments worldwide, advising them on research performance, international collaboration, gender in research and research impact. Prior to joining Elsevier, Maria has worked for McKinsey and Company, for the Dutch government, and in the power and gas sector, in various analytical roles to combining big data to inform decisions. Maria holds a master’s degree with distinction in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology, and an MBA with distinction from Oxford University.


Robust Tumor Heterogeneity Characterization from Single-cell Sequencing with Graph-based Artificial Intelligence

16:00 - 16:20


Brandon Malone

NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH

Brandon Malone is a Senior Researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH. He received his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University and held postdoc positions at the University of Helsinki, the Max Plank Institute for the Biology of Ageing, and Heidelberg University Hospital before joining NEC. His research interests include application and design of novel graph-based machine learning approaches for the biomedical domain, including probabilistic graphical models, graph neural networks, and knowledge graphs.


From desk to bench – AI in Drug Discovery at Merck

15:40 - 16:00


Friedrich Rippmann


Friedrich Rippmann is Director of Computational Chemistry & Biology at Merck in Darmstadt, Germany. Previously he was head of Bio- and Chemoinformatics at Merck, with responsibility for groups in Germany, France and Switzerland. He was also responsible for the set-up of bioinformatics and protein crystallography at Merck in Darmstadt. 
In his academic career he worked at the National Institute for Medical Research, MRC London, and at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. He is also a lecturer of Bioinformatics, at the University of Mannheim.
Several major software developments originated in his group, among them RELIBASE, a comprehensive database of protein-ligand complexes; and more recently DoGSite Scorer, a druggability prediction server; TRAPP, a webtool for analysis of transient binding pockets in proteins; and a panel of methods for selective kinase inhibitor generation. 
Currently he is working on digitizing many aspects of early discovery research, including the integration into coherent workflows. Machine Learning, especially Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence are key aspects of this. Another key interest is the “invention” of novel molecules, matching a predefined target profile, by AI techniques.

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Computational single-cell genomics - advances and translational opportunities

11:00 - 11:20


Oliver Stegle


Oliver Stegle is the Head of the Computational Genomics and Systems Genetics Division at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and group leader at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany. 
His group’s main interest lies in computational methods to unravel the genotype–phenotype map on a genome-wide scale. To address this question, the team carries out research at the interface of statistical inference, machine learning and computational biology. A current direction in the lab is to extend the boundaries of single-cell analysis to integrate single-cell RNA-seq with somatic mutations and clonal substructure in tissues. This project will provide pertinent datasets and biological questions to further develop and apply these techniques in the context of a major biologist system.
Oliver obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in Physics in 2009 and worked as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen. He was a group leader at the EMBL European Bioinformatics before joining DKFZ as Division Head in July 2018.

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Machine Learning in

Computer-aided Drug Design

11:20 - 11:40


Rebecca Wade

Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University

Rebecca Wade leads the Molecular and Cellular Modeling group at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and is Professor of Computational Structural Biology at the Center for Molecular Biology at Heidelberg University (ZMBH).  Rebecca Wade studied at Oxford University and, following postdoctoral research at the universities of Houston and Illinois, became a group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg in 1992. She moved to HITS in 2001. Rebecca Wade’s research is focused on the development and application of computer-aided methods to model and simulate biomolecular interactions. Her research group has developed protein structure-based methods for drug discovery and protein engineering, as well as computational approaches to investigate macromolecular association and the effects of macromolecular crowding. Rebecca Wade’s research has resulted in over 250 scientific publications, as well as software programs and web servers that are used world-wide. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Molecular Recognition and PloS Computational Biology. She was the recipient of the 2004 Hansch Award of the QSAR and Modelling Society and the 2016 International Society of Quantum Biology and Pharmacology (ISQBP) Award in Computational Biology.

HAEP Session

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Artificial Intelligence: Deep Learning in Medicine, Myth or Reality?

14:00 - 14:40


Sergey Biniaminov

HS Analysis GmbH

Sergey Biniaminov graduated with a diploma in Economics and Political Science at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and now he is managing shareholder at HS Analysis GmbH, based in Karlsruhe. HS Analysis means "High Scale Analysis" and stands for the management of Big Data in medicine, which focuses on the efficiency of drug development, predictions in companion diagnostics (CDx) and analysis of the growth of cultured cells in fluorescence or label free images. HS Analysis employs data scientists, biomedicine researchers and designers with the goal to secure trust in artificial intelligence in life science and medicine. 

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Closing the gap between “episteme” and “techne”: challenges for successful biotechnology transfer

14:00 - 14:40


Patrick Most

University Hospital Heidelberg, AaviGen GmbH and Jefferson University

Prof. Most is a Co-founder and CEO of InoCard GmbH, a cardiovascular gene therapy company, which was acquired by uniQure NV in August 2014, and served as Managing Director of uniQure Germany GmbH and uniQure NL leadership team member until 2017. In 2018, he devised and co-founded the Biotech Startup AaviGen GmbH, a personalized gene therapy company, for which he serves as CEO. Prof. Most has nearly 20 years of experience in molecular cardiovascular research, a field in which he has become a key opinion leader, authoring numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, holding several patents and having received a large number of awards and stipends for his outstanding work, including, most recently, the Health Axis Europe Accelerator - Investors Choice Award and the Albert Fraenkel Award of the DGK. He is currently a Full Professor for Molecular and Translational Medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine III of the University of Heidelberg. In addition, Prof. Most holds an Adjunct Associate Professorship for Translational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

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Organs-On-A-Chip And Artificial Intelligence Platforms In Personalized Medication Development 

14:00 - 14:40


Ute Schepers

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and VasQlab

After studying chemistry, Ute Schepers received her doctorate from the University of Bonn. In 1998 she worked at the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston as a research associate. From 2001 to 2008, she starte a junior research group on organ-specific transport of bioactive molecules and drugs. Since 2009, she is heading her research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In 2015, she was appointed as a senior scientist and professor of chemical biology.
Her research focus is the investigation of organ-specific transport of active substances and drugs. Since 2010 she has been working on the in vitro reconstruction of 3D organs on the chip. In the last years she has also been working on 3D bioprinting of human organs for drug testing. This research is currently being used to fund the KIT spin-off "vasQlab".

Welcome and wrap-up



Gitte Neubauer

Chair of BioRN Executive Board

CEO of Cellzome GmbH - a GSK company


Michael Boutros

Deputy Chair of BioRN Executive Board

Head of Functional and Structural Genomics Program at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg


Julia Schaft

Managing Director, BioRN

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