AI IN HEALTH: Applications, challenges, limitations, moonshots

2021-12-02 19:00 - 21:00


ai in health breit event

AI IN HEALTH: Applications, challenges, limitations, moonshots

Free English-speaking online event: Thursday 02.12.2021, 19:00 CET

Registration necessary

This event is part of Hi!A - Festival für Kunst und Forschung in Bayern.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies are impacting industry, science and society in an unprecedented way, with applications in a myriad of fields. In particular, AI has the potential to help address important health challenges, and it is in fact already being used or trialled for a range of healthcare and research purposes. Therefore, BIOTOPIA is delighted to welcome a panel of experts from Helmholtz Center Munich to a discussion about AI in Health.

With an introduction by Matthias Tschöp, scientific director of Helmholtz Center Munich, and moderation by Dora Dzvonyar, Head of of BIOTOPIA Digital and Mobile.

The event will be held in English with simultaneous translation into German.





AI and machine learning are employed in industrial settings, they shape how services are provided and products are manufactured, and they open entirely new avenues for research. AI has great potential in the field of health: As an incredibly powerful tool to analyse and identify patterns in large and complex datasets faster and more precisely than has previously been possible, it can also be used to search the scientific literature for relevant studies, and to combine different kinds of data, for example to aid drug discovery.  AI systems used in healthcare could also be valuable for medical research by helping to analyse relationships between prevention or treatment techniques and patient outcomes, and match suitable patients to clinical studies. However, the use of AI in health raises ethical issues, which is why another key challenge is to ensure that AI is developed and used in a way that is transparent and compatible with the public interest, while stimulating and driving innovation in the sector.

Helmholtz Center Munich is home to the central unit of the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit and its research field for AI in health. Their main goal is to discover personalized medical solutions for the prevention and therapy for environmentally triggered diseases and to promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world. 


Ali Ertürk is director of the Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM) at Helmholtz Center Munich. He is leading the NOMIS Human Heart Atlas project. His research aims to develop novel technologies based on tissue clearance and AI to image and analyze intact rodent bodies, human organs, engineered tissues and organoids at cellular resolution. In contrast to the traditional histological methods relying on tissue sectioning and imaging of selected small regions, this new approach enables 3D imaging of the entire biological specimens at the cellular level at unprecedented speed and accuracy. Combined with molecular profiling, this hypothesis-free approach can substantially accelerate the understanding of complex and heterogenous biological systems.




Julia A. Schnabel is Professor of Computational Imaging and AI in Medicine at the Technical University of Munich (TUM Liesel Beckmann Distinguished Professorship) and Director of a new Institute of Machine Learning in Biomedical Imaging at Helmholtz Center Munich (Helmholtz Distinguished Professorship), with secondary appointment as Chair in Computational Imaging at King’s College London. The mission of the Institute for Machine Learning in Biomedical Imaging is to leverage machine learning for the grand challenges in biomedical imaging in areas of unmet clinical need. Its goal is to fundamentally transform the use of imaging for diagnostics and prognostics. Novel and affordable solutions should empower clinics to make more accurate, fast and reliable decisions for early detection, treatment planning and improved patient outcome. Julia Schnabel’s research focus is on applications in cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and maternal/perinatal health.



Fabian Theis is Director of the Institute of Computational Biology at the Helmholtz Center Munich and Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit (HelmholtzAI) which was launched in 2019. He is a Full Professor at the Technical University of Munich, holding the chair ‘Mathematical Modelling of Biological Systems’, Associate Faculty at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as well as Adjunct Faculty at the Northwestern University, Department of Medicine. Since 2020, he holds the position of co-chair of the Bavarian AI Council of the Bavarian Ministry for Science and Art and supports the TUM with his expertise as start-up Ambassador and as a core member of the Munich Data Science Institute (MDSI). Furthermore, he coordinates the 2019 launched Munich School for Data Science (MUDS) and is co-directing the ELLIS Munich Unit, the local hub of the European Machine Learning network ELLIS.


tschoepp 1Matthias Tschöp has been the chief executive officer and scientific director of Helmholtz Center Munich since 2018. He is also Alexander von Humboldt Professor and Chair of Metabolic Diseases at Technical University of Munich and serves as an adjunct professor at Yale University. He joined Helmholtz Center Munich in 2011, initially as Director of the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, and then went on to serve as Founding Director of the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, scheduled to go into operation in 2022, with a mission to blend advanced (bio-)engineering with cutting-edge biomedical research in a most collaborative environment and strict interdisciplinary fashion. He is also the first German physician to be awarded the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.

© Picture: Helmholtz Munich/Matthias Tunger



eleftheria zegginiEleftheria Zeggini obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Immunogenetics of Juvenile Arthritis from the University of Manchester. Following a statistical genetics post doc at the Centre for Integrated Genomic and Medical Research in Manchester, she moved to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford to undertake a post doc in type 2 diabetes research. In 2008, she joined the Wellcome Sanger Institute Human Genetics Faculty where she built a programme of work to advance analytical genomics of complex traits. In 2018, she moved to the Helmholtz Center Munich as founding Director of the Institute of Translational Genomics and since May 2020 holds the TUM Liesel Beckmann Distinguished Professorship at the Technical University Munich School of Medicine. Her research leverages big biomedical data and aims to translate insights from genomics into mechanisms of disease development and progression, shortening the path to translation and empowering precision medicine.






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This event is part of Hi!A - Festival für Kunst und Forschung in Bayern



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