Center for Innovation in Brain Science Visiting Scholar Lecture

When: May 30, 2017 1:00pm

Martin Hofmann-Apitius, Ph.D., head, Department of Bioinformatics, Fraunhofer SCAI, and professor, University of Bonn

"Systematic Identification and Validation of Mechanisms Underlying Neurodegenerative Diseases: a Computational Approach"

Martin Hofmann-Apitius holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology and worked for more than 10 years in experimental molecular biology.

The screening for novel genes involved in tumour metastasis lead him into the area of functional genomics and subsequently to applied bioinformatics. Hofmann-Apitius has experience in both, academic (University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (ITG), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)) and industrial (BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, LION bioscience AG) research. Since 2002, he has led the Department of Bioinformatics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) in Sankt Augustin (Germany), a governmental non-profit research institute. In July 2006, he was appointed as a professor for Applied Life Science Informatics at Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (B-IT).

Hofmann-Apitius is (co-) author of more than 140 scientific publications. Major scientific contributions were the cloning and identification of CD44v, the first gene that mediates metastatic potential to tumour cells, the functional annotation of the mouse transriptome, and information extraction methodology used for the semi-automated generation of the first comprehensive, computable model for Alzheimer's Disease.

Hofmann-Apitius is the academic initiator and co-coordinator of IMI-project AETIONOMY, a project aimed at generating a mechanism-based taxonomy of neurodegenerative diseases. The industry coordinator is Duncan McHale, UCB Pharma (see

Current research activities at the Department of Bioinformatics at Fraunhofer SCAI focus on:

  • Automated methods for the extraction of relevant information from unstructured information sources such as journal publications, patents and web-based sources
  • Knowledge-based, mechanistic modelling of neurodegenerative diseases

  • Mining in real-world data (social networks, patient forums, electronic patient records)

  • Longitudinal disease models and their use in Virtual Patient Cohorts

  • Scalable solution for unstructured information mining: HPC & cloud computing

For more information, contact Annisa Westcott at

Audience: All


Campus: UAHS


Contact info & links


Annisa Westcott University of Arizona Health Sciences

Requests for disability-related accommodations should be directed to the event's primary contact: Annisa Westcott