Hamburg Science Award for Fabian Theis

Use of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

10 October 2021
Fabian Theis

Professor Fabian Theis receives the Hamburg Science Award 2021. The Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg is honouring him as a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in biomedicine. Fabian Theis is Professor for Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Director of the Institute of Computational Biology at Helmholtz Zentrum München.

AI in biomedical practice

Prof. Fabian Theis uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data analysis procedures to answer biomedical questions. With his research, he makes an essential contribution to the development of innovative biomedical AI-based methods. He is a worldwide leader in his field of research.

His discoveries lead directly to clinical applications - for example, in the treatment of skin diseases or of diabetic retinopathy. For the automated diagnosis of this eye disease, the research group around Theis, in collaboration with the Eye Clinic of the Munich University Hospital and that of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), developed a screening algorithm that was published in 2020. It needs 75 percent fewer data with specialist commentary, and is able to carry out diagnoses at the same level of performance as specialist staff.

The medicine of the future

"Fabian Theis applies AI across biomedical research, healthcare and precision medicine. He has successfully demonstrated the enormous value of AI-based technologies in a number of applications and thus has fulfilled the expectations of AI in medicine: to reform prevention, diagnostics and therapy and to open the way to the medicine of the future." This was the comment of the Chair of the Jury and President of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Edwin J. Kreuzer. "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."

The Hamburg Science Award

The Hamburg Science Award, which is endowed with 100,000 euros, is donated by the Hamburgische Stiftung für Wissenschaften, Entwicklung und Kultur Helmut und Hannelore Greve (Foundation for Science, Development and Culture Helmut and Hannelore Greve). Fabian Theis will receive the prize on 12 November 2021 in the Hamburg townhall under the auspices of the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. He plans to use the prize money for a cooperation project with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in the area of deep learning.

The Hamburg Science Prize is awarded every two years and will be presented for the seventh time in 2021. At 100,000 euros, it is the highest endowed prize by a German science academy.

Hamburg Science Award 2021: AI in Medicine

The 2021 Hamburg Science Award was dedicated to the topic of "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine." Artificial intelligence and its subfield Machine Learning are of great importance in many sectors. Especially in Medicine, Machine Learning is expected to make an important contribution to caring for people medically in a more individual way.

Above all in healthcare, there are great opportunities to use Machine Learning to provide better and more cost-effective healthcare. The paramount aim is to support doctors in their decision-making on diagnosis and treatment. Machine Learning supplements human thought. Fabian Theis prevailed among 7 nominations for the Hamburg Science Award 2021.

For more details on the Hamburg Science Award 2021 and the award winner Fabian Theis, please see the Press release of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg.