Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizewinner 2023

Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis

Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis

© DFG / David Ausserhofer

Bio- and Medical Informatics, Helmholtz Munich and TU Munich

Fabian Theis receives the Leibniz Prize for his pioneering work in the analysis, modelling and interpretation of genomic data. A mathematician, physicist and bioinformatician, he has developed new methods for biomedical data analysis, especially for single-cell genomics. Recent developments in the genomic revolution include methods for RNA sequencing of single cells in large pools. For this purpose, Theis has developed software packages based on artificial intelligence methods, thereby generating profound biomedical insights. He applies this, for example, to achieve a better understanding of the developmental pathways of cells, improved medical diagnostics, risk identification and therapy development and, as is currently the case, to study the cellular changes that occur after a SARS-CoV-2 infection. As part of the Human Cell Atlas project, a worldwide initiative to create a reference map of all human cell types, Theis co-coordinates the Human Lung Cell Atlas project. This aims to identify cells that are relevant to the development of lung diseases such as asthma.

Fabian Theis studied mathematics and physics, obtaining his doctorate in biophysics at the University of Regensburg in 2002 and in computer science at the University of Granada, Spain, in 2003. After national and international positions as a visiting researcher, postdoc and group leader, he received an appointment at the TU Munich in 2009. Since 2013, Theis has also been Director of the Institute for Computational Biology at Helmholtz Munich. In 2006 he received the DFG’s Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, and in 2010 an ERC Starting Grant. In 2022 he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant and accepted as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.



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