preliminary program

Confirmed Speakers

Theodore Alexandrov, EMBL Heidelberg

Theodore Alexandrov received a PhD in mathematics in Russia in 2007 at the age of 24. He did his postdoc at the University of Bremen, Germany, where he became a group leader and the head of MALDI Imaging Lab, at the same time visiting the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Since 2014, he is a team leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, with a research program on spatial metabolomics, and the head of the EMBL Metabolomics Core Facility. Since 2015 he is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, UCSD. He is an ERC Consolidator investigator and has co-founded two startups, one of which (SCiLS) was acquired by a major vendor. The overarching aim of his research is to picture metabolism in time and space across different spatial scales by creating enabling computational and molecular technologies and in particular by translating big spatial metabolomics data into molecular knowledge.

Rudi Balling, Luxemburg Centre for Systems Biomedicine

Rudi Balling is Director of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine in Luxembourg (LCSB). He is a developmental biologist and geneticist. He studied nutrition at the Universities of Bonn and Washington State University, USA and received his PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Aachen, Germany. After completing research posts at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto and the Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen and Freiburg, he became director of the Institute of Mammalian Genetics at the GSF in Munich in 1993. From 2001 - 2009 he was scientific director of the Helmholtz Centre of Infection Research in Braunschweig. In 2009, he became founding director of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, an interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Luxembourg.

Friedrich Feuerhake, Hannover Medical School

Friedrich Feuerhake, M.D., is head of the Digital Pathology Group and attending neuropathologist at the Department of Pathology Hannover Medical School, Germany. His research focus is translational biomarker discovery and development in the context of Systems Medicine approaches exploring the interaction between immune cells and their target structures. He coordinates a national (e:Med) and a European (ERACoSysMed) consortium that both integrate computational pathology into systems medicine approaches to transplantation, immunology, and cancer research.

Ben Glocker, Imperial College London

Ben Glocker is Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning for Imaging at the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, and one of three academics leading the Biomedical Image Analysis Group. He also leads the HeartFlow-Imperial Research Team and is scientific advisor for Kheiron Medical Technologies. He holds a PhD from TU Munich and was a post-doc at Microsoft and a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His research is at the intersection of medical image analysis and artificial intelligence aiming to build computational tools for improving image-based detection and diagnosis of disease.

Roberto Goya-Maldonado, University of Göttingen

Dr. Roberto Goya-Maldonado studied and practiced Medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. He became a Psychiatrist in 2005 at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre. Along his first year of private practice he nurtured the idea of moving back to the academic field especially to learn the technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Dr. Goya-Maldonado was contemplated with a DAAD scholarship to study the neural correlates of impulsivity in healthy volunteers with fMRI and achieved his doctorate in 2010 at the University of Heidelberg. Next he conducted his postdoctoral research bridging the clinical and imaging fields from 2010 to 2015 at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and at the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG), where he received grants from the UMG, BMBF and Leibniz-ScienceCampus programs. He is an active member of the Steering Committees from e:Med and Leibniz-ScienceCampus. From 2016 on he leads his own research group named Systems Neuroscience and Imaging in Psychiatry (SNIP) at the UMG in Göttingen.

Simon Haas, HI-STEM gGmbH and DKFZ, Heidelberg

Simon Haas studied Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biosciences with major Cancer Biology at Heidelberg University, Imperial College London and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). He received his PhD from DKFZ and Heidelberg University in 2016. Simon performed research at DKFZ, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard. Since 2016, he is junior group leader at HI-STEM.

Simon Joosse, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

Simon Joosse performed his PhD research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, in 2007-2012. The topic of his research was the genomic characterization of hereditary breast cancer using array Comparative Genomic Hybridization. After graduation in 2012, Dr. Joosse worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) on the molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer patients. In 2013, he was awarded an EU grant from the Seventh Framework Programme and received the Youth Development 2013 award from the Medical Faculty UKE after which he grounded his own research group on the genomic characterization of single cells. The expertise of Dr. Joosse include genotyping cancer using high-throughput methods (i.e., microarrays and Next Generation Sequencing) on single cell level and performing the analysis by bioinformatics and biostatistics. In 2015, Dr. Joosse graduated as Master of Applied Statistics at the Pennsylvania State University (USA). He was awarded the Hubertus-Wald award for junior scientists in 2017.

Oliver Kohlbacher, University Tübingen and MPI for Developmental Biology, Tübingen

Oliver Kohlbacher is a full professor for Applied Bioinformatics at University of Tübingen, director of the Institute for Translational Bioinformatics at the University Medical Center Tübingen, and a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. He has long-standing experience in the analysis of high-throughput (omics) data and its biomedical applications. His lab develops innovative algorithms and methods for computational mass spectrometry and is one of the main contributors to the open-source project OpenMS, one of the leading software projects in computational mass spectrometry. Oliver Kohlbacher coordinates one of the eight service centers within the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure (de.NBI), the Center for Integrative Bioinformatics (CIBI) and operates one of the de.NBI Cloud sites in Tübingen. Within ELIXIR-DE he is the training coordinator for Germany. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), of the advisory board of the Center for Computational Mass Spectrometry at the University of California San Diego, and of the scientific directorate of the Leibniz Institute for Informatics Schloss Dagstuhl.

Sven Nahnsen, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Dr. Nahnsen studied Biomathematics and Biotechnology at the Universities of Greifswald (Germany), Strasbourg (France) and Cambridge (UK). After graduating with an MSc in Biotechnology from the Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS) he moved to Tübingen to do his PhD research in Computational mass spectrometry. Since 2012 he has been establishing the Quantitative Biology Center (QBiC) in Tübingen. Since 2018 he is the Scientific Director of the QBiC. Together with his team he is developing he es developing state-of-the-art solutions for managing large amounts of biomedical research data, as well as novel methods for bioinformatics data analysis.

Arvind Pathak, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

Dr. Pathak ( is an ideator, educator and mentor focused on transforming lives through the power of imaging. He received the BS in Electronics Engineering from the University of Poona, India. He received his PhD from the joint program in Functional Imaging between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. During his PhD he was a Whitaker Foundation Fellow. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Molecular Imaging. He is currently Associate Professor of Radiology, Oncology and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research is focused on developing new imaging methods, computational models and visualization tools to ‘make visible’ critical aspects of cancer, neurobiology and tissue engineering. His work has been recognized by multiple journal covers and awards including the Bill Negendank Award from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) given to “outstanding young investigators in cancer MRI” and the Career Catalyst Award from the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He serves on review panels for national and international funding agencies, and the editorial boards of imaging journals. He is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of imagers and innovators. He has mentored over sixty students, and was the recipient of the ISMRM’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2014.

Bernd Pichler, University Hospital Tübingen

Prof. Dr. Bernd Pichler is director of the Werner Siemens Imaging Center and chair of the Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Clinic of Radiology, University of Tübingen, Germany. He earned his PhD in physics at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Technical University of Munich, in 2002 and subsequently worked at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, USA. In 2005 Bernd Pichler became head of the Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology at the University of Tübingen. In December 2007, Dr. Pichler accepted the call of the University of Tübingen for a full (W3) professorship in “Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology”.  In 2008 he became head of the Radiopharmacy and in 2011 both, the Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging of the Werner Siemens-Foundation and the Radiopharmacy joined, to become the Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, with Prof. Pichler as director and chair of the department. His work includes multi-modality imaging in oncology, immunology and neurology as well as the development of new imaging technologies and innovative imaging probes.

Markus Rudin, ETH Zürich

Markus Rudin is full professor for Molecular Imaging and Functional Pharmacology at the University of Zürich (UZH) and at ETH Zürich (ETHZ).
Markus Rudin received his diploma in chemistry at the ETHZ in 1976 and his PhD at the Laboratory for Physical Chemistry in 1981 working on electron spin and electron-nuclear double resonance, followed by post-doctorates in the same area at ETHZ and in magnetic resonance imaging at the Biocenter of the University of Basel.  In 1983 he joined Sandoz AG to build up a biomedical imaging group initially focused on magnetic resonance imaging.  Within Sandoz AG, later Novartis Pharma AG, he became head of the Biophysics Group, head of the In-vivo Models Unit and finally head of the Analytical and Imaging Science Unit within Discovery Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. In this function, he was also deputy head of Discovery Technologies until 2005. In 1997 he became Privat Dozent for Biophysics at the University of Basel. From March 2005 to March 2013, he was member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is in the advisory board of several research initiatives including SFB 824 and the Excellence Cluster CiM of the Deutsche Forschungs Gesellschaft, IMETUM Munich, and the A*STAR Imaging Center in Singapore.
Markus Rudin is heading a research group at the animal imaging center of UZH/ETH located at ETH Hönggerberg focusing on MRI and optical imaging methods. His research focus is the development of non-invasive imaging techniques for studying structure, physiology, and metabolism of tissue as well as cellular and molecular events in the intact organism, in particular assays for monitoring signal transduction pathways. Biomedical applications are in neuroscience and oncology.
Markus Rudin is officially retired since August 2018 with a part-time appointment at UZH. He is cofounder and president of the board of Menhir Photonics AG, a company specialized in ultrafast lasers.

Bernhard Spengler, Justus Liebig University Giessen

Bernhard Spengler is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany. He has contributed to the development of MALDI MS in the 1980's, developed the Postsource Decay technique and in 1994 introduced the MALDI Imaging method. He and his group work in the field of mass spectrometry imaging for many years, in several fields of atmospheric pressure in situ MS techniques and in aerosol analysis. He received several awards, most recently the Fresenius Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) in 2017.

Fabian Theis, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich

Fabian Theis obtained MSc degrees in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Regensburg in 2000. He received a PhD degree in Physics from the same university in 2002 and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Granada in 2003. He worked as visiting researcher at the department of Architecture and Computer Technology (University of Granada, Spain), at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Wako, Japan), at FAMU-FSU (Florida State University, USA) and at TUAT's Laboratory for Signal and Image Processing (Tokyo, Japan), and headed the 'signal processing & information theory' group at the Institute of Biophysics (Regensburg, Germany). In 2006, he started working as Bernstein fellow leading a junior research group at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, located at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation at Göttingen. In summer 2007, Fabian Theis became working group head of CMB at the Institute of Bioinformatics at the Helmholtz Center Munich. In spring 2009, he became associate Professor for Mathematics in Systems Biology at the Math Department of the TU Munich. 2009-2014 he was member of the ‘Young Academy’ (founded by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina). In 2010 he was awarded an ERC starting grant. Since May 2013 Fabian Theis is Director of the Institute of Computational Biology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and holds the Chair "Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems" at the Department of Mathematics of the TU Munich. Since 2019 he is associate faculty at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK. His research interests include development of computational methods for analyzing and modelling single cell heterogeneities as well as machine and in parts deep learning for prediction in biology and biomedicine. In 2017 he was awarded the Erwin Schrödinger prize together within an interdisciplinary team at the ETH Zürich. Fabian Theis is part of and also coordinates various consortia (i.e. sparse2big involving 8 Helmholtz Centers) and founded the network SingleCellOmics Germany (SCOG). Furthermore he coordinates the recently launched Munich School for Data Science (MUDS). Since 2019 he is official member of the Management Committee of Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Eva Winkler, National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg University Hospital

Prof. Dr. Dr. Eva Winkler heads the research focus "Ethics and Patient Orientation in Oncology" at the NCT in Heidelberg and works as an oncological senior physician. She did her doctorate in cancer research at the DKFZ, did a long research stay at Harvard in medical ethics and did a doctor`s degree (Dr. phil.) in Basel. She is also an associate professor at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, and is a board member of the Academy of Ethics in Medicine.

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