Announcement – 6th Lecture Series

Prof. Dr. Oliver Stegle
Head of Division of Computational Genomics and Systems Genetics DKFZ, Heidelberg and Visiting Associated Group Leader, EMBL Heidelberg

will give a talk on

„Machine learning for multi omics analytics “

The talk is held via Videoconference on Thursday, February 25th at 6:00 PM

Register at contact [at] informatics4life [dot] org

We would be happy to include you in our email distribution list to inform you about future events.



5th Lecture Series

At our 5th Lecture Series last week, Prof. Stefan Listl gave an interesting talk on „Getting teeth into Clinical Decision Support for integrated NCD management”

Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems offer unique potential for improving chronic care. Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and dental diseases are the three most expensive diseases in the EU.

However, as recently highlighted by WHO and The Lancet, the intrinsic links between oral and general health have often been neglected. This talk will provide insights into the chances and challenges involved in the development of a prototypic CDS system for integrated management of NCDs at the interface of medical and oral health care.

I4L – Yearly Meeting

Our yearly meeting on November 14th was joined by an incredible number of participants. Nearly all registered PIs and scientists logged in to our virtual work breakfast. Also Ms Spiegel an Ms Spahn from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung signed in to hear about the progress in the subprojects and new ideas in the Hot Topics.

We thank everyone for the successful event and the great appreciation of our surprise.

The workshop “Towards the I4L Data Experience: From Data to Information” which was postponed for time reasons will be made up on December 8th.

Safe the date!



4th Lecture Series

At our 4h Lecture Series last week, Prof. Alfio Quarteroni gave an interesting talk on „The mathematical heart: a computational model for the simulation of the heart function“.

Mathematical models based on first principles can describe the interaction between electrical, mechanical and fluid-dynamical processes occurring in the heart, as well as the coupling with the external circulation. This is a classical multi-physics problem featuring multi-scale solutions in space and time. Appropriate numerical strategies need to be devised to allow for an accurate and computationally effective simulation of these processes in both physiological and pathological regimes. The was well-attended presentation addressed some of these issues and a few representative applications of clinical relevance.

Deep Characterization of circular RNAs from human cardiovascular cell models and cardiac tissue

Our new study was undertaken to help to uncover potential functions of circular RNAs (circRNAs) that are relevant in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in cardiac model systems and organisms. The study defines a strongly conserved core set of circRNAs in human heart tissue, human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes (hiPSC-CMs), as well as mouse and pig heart. These circRNAs are promising potential targets for further studies because their function is likely conserved and therefore may be important in development and progression of CVD.

We employed a specialized deep sequencing approach to generate comprehensive maps of circRNA exon composition in hiPSC-CMs, human umbilical vein cells (HUVECs), and human hearts, which are required for more confident functional studies.

We identified shared circRNAs across all samples, as well as model-specific circRNA signatures and moreover identified a core set of positionally conserved and expressed circRNAs in human, pig, and mouse hearts. Furthermore, we found that the sequence of circRNAs can deviate from the sequence derived from the genome sequence, an important factor in assessing potential functions. Integration of additional data yielded evidence for m6A-modification of circRNAs, potentially linked to translation as well as circRNAs overlapping with potential Agonaut2 binding sites, indicating potential association with the RISC complex.

Moreover, we describe, for the first time in cardiac model systems, a sub class of circRNAs containing the start codon of their primary transcript (AUG circRNAs) and observe an enrichment for m6A-modifications and ribosome association.


3rd Lecture Series

At our third Lecture Series last week, Prof. Till Bärnighausen gave an interesting talk on „Integrating causal inference – from correlation to causation in ‘big data’ in health care and policy“.

The past 30 years have seen a revolution in causal inference in epidemiology and health policy research. New approaches to measurement of health-related data, such as sensors and cell phone data, as well as data linkage across many sources are massively increasing opportunities for causal evaluation of health policies and real-life interventions. The well-attended lecture by Prof. Bärnighausen described emerging methodological and data opportunities to establish causal impacts of health policies and interventions.


Last Saturday Prof. Katus welcomed the principal investigators at the annual meeting to present their progresses in the respective sub-projects. Also members of the Klaus Tschira Foundation joined the meeting to inform themselves about the development process.

Many Sub-projects have already networked and found approaches for joint projects and further developments, which will now be further specified and processed in the coming year.

The first publications are already in process.



2nd Lecture Series

At our second Lecture Series last week, Prof. Robert Preißner from the Charité in Berlin gave an interesting talk on the repositioning of drugs based on real-world evidence.

For the investigation, nearly half a million discharge letters from the Charité were evaluated and the findings were validated with results from colleagues in the USA. Prof. Preißner presented the results of this research. Also this event was attended very well.