Golden Winners Cup

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Heidi Seibold and Benjamin Schubert elected as ‘AI Newcomers 2021’

Heidi Seibold (Helmholtz AI, Helmholtz Zentrum München) and Benjamin Schubert (ICB, Helmholtz Zentrum München) have won the ‘AI Newcomers 2021 Award’. Congratulations!

Heidi Seibold, leader of the 'Open AI in Health' team at  Helmholtz AI, has won the AI Newcomer 2021 Award, an AI Newcomer program of the German Informatics Society sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). She was nominated for the 'Natural and Life Sciences' discipline and succeeded in the overall evaluation from mid-January to early March (70% jury votes, 30% public votes).

Benjamin Schubert, team leader at the Institute of Computational Biology (Helmholtz Zentrum München), also came out on top, winning the AI Newcomer 2021 Award in the same discipline ‘Natural and Life Sciences’ as Heidi.


Pictures: Heidi Seibold (left) and Benjamin Schubert (right).


The purpose of the AI Newcomers award is to make new talents visible who already achieved outstanding success in various fields of research and activity in AI and who are expected to have a significant influence on AI research in the future. The goal is to demystify AI technologies and to open up the topic to a broad public by its involvement in the nomination and voting phase. 

The announcement of the AI Newcomer program was part of the KI-Camp on April 27th in Berlin. There, Heidi and Benjamin got the chance to present their work to a large audience in a "Science Slam", a short entertaining presentation, and received an official certificate.

Heidi Seibold studied statistics at LMU Munich. In her PhD at the University of Zürich, she developed new machine learning methods for personalised medicine, which are available as open source software. Today, she leads the'Open AI in Health' group within Helmholtz AI at theHelmholtz Zentrum München. She is an Knowledge Exchange expert, representative of the German Reproducibility Network, and leads the Open Science Initiative in Medicine of the LMU Open Science Center. She is on the steering committee of the online platform OpenML (Open Machine Learning) and develops open source software. In her research, she combines Artificial Intelligence, Open Science and health research with the goal of making AI and its application in health research transparent, trustworthy and reproducible. Her dream is for research and its components (data, code, etc) to be accessible to all. This could not only improve and fasten the research itself, but in the end also improve or even save human lives.

Benjamin Schubert is a team leader at Helmholtz Zentrum München. His goal is to develop more effective and safe vaccines and biotherapeutics using AI methods. During his PhD at the University of Tübingen, he designed algorithms that support every step of vaccine development, from antigen identification to selection and vaccine assembly, enabling a more streamlined and resource-efficient development. In a recent collaboration, he could experimentally demonstrate that his algorithm truly improves vaccine efficacy beyond human designs. During his postdoc at Harvard Medical School, he designed an AI-based method to modify biotherapeutics to prevent immunological responses that otherwise would have negative effects on efficacy and safety. Initial experimental evaluations of computationally re-designed biotherapeutics were encouraging and demonstrated the prospects of his approach to improving the safety and efficacy of biotherapeutics.

We are extremely 'excited' that Heidi and Benjamin have become AI Newcomers 2021 and would like to thank the German Informatics Society (GI) for making this honour possible and everyone of the AI community who voted for the two in the public vote.

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