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Institute of Computational Life Sciences (ICLS)

Prof. Marcel Burkhard

Why do algorithms improve our quality of life?

"Industry focused, creative, passionate and reflective; we think beyond institutional boundaries."

Prof. Marcel Burkhard, Director of the Institute

NEW from 2022

  • The ICLS Institute of Computational Life Sciences was formerly known as the IAS Institute of Applied Simulation. The renaming in 2022 is the result of the strategic orientation towards computational life sciences.
  • The unique programme Bachelor Applied Digital Life Sciences starts in September.

The ICLS Institute of Computational Life Sciences researches and teaches at the interfaces of digitalisation with the life sciences disciplines. We live computational science as an interdisciplinary approach to address complex problems and develop new solutions in the key areas of health, society, environment and nutrition.

We see ourselves as a bridge between basic research at the university and practical applications in business and society. The team of 50 employees has extensive experience in handling interdisciplinary projects.

Our research and development projects take into account the application context of our business and research partners. Our students also benefit from this. We pass on the knowledge gained in research and development both in Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes and in continuing education. Our teaching and work activities concentrate on computational life sciences with a focus on computational health, bioinformatics, cognitive computing for life sciences and digital labs and production.


Bachelor of Science in Applied Digital Life Sciences

The Bachelor's programme Applied Digital Life Sciences is characterised by the application-oriented training in the field of data science and computation as well as by its foundation in the life sciences with the fields of biology, environment, biotechnology, chemistry, food technology and health. The practice-oriented education concept with the specialisations "Digital Labs and Production", "Digital Environment" and "Digital Health" offers a lot of freedom for the individual design of the study programme.

Master of Science in Life Sciences – Applied Computational Life Sciences

Digitalisation is changing all areas of life and work at an increasing pace. The disciplines of the life sciences are strongly affected by this. Particularly at the interfaces of biology/biotechnology, chemistry and medicine, ever larger amounts of data are being generated and need to be processed. More and more research questions are being addressed in silico. Digital technologies and computer-aided methods complement the established methods of the life sciences in vitro and in vivo. In this Master's programme, you will acquire expertise in dealing with digital tools and large amounts of data. The programme will prepare you with relevant skills for the digital future.

Research Centre of Bioinformatics

«We develop practical solutions at the interface of biology, medicine and computational sciences.»

Dr. Maria Anisimova
Head of the centre

The Centre for Bioinformatics focuses on the theoretical and computational aspects of modelling the molecular biology processes, genome evolution and adaptive change, as well as biomedical data representation and integration.  The goal is to bring basic research and new bioinformatics methods to real-world applications, ranging, for example, from biotechnology and forensics to biomedical research and environmental applications. The research area is represented by the several research groups, each focusing on certain methods or application domains.

Research Centre of Cognitive Computing in Life Sciences

«With Cognitive Computing, we offer new solutions for the life sciences that are based on the fundamental understanding of man and machine as a learning system.»

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ott
Head of the centre

The Centre for Cognitive Computing for Life Sciences deals with the development and use of computational methods and models for the field of life sciences, whose properties are inspired by the learning and adaptive abilities as well as self-organisation principles of natural systems. The solutions developed support demanding human activities and decision-making processes or can be used for process automation. The following general aspects are central to our research and development: learning ability/adaptability of the systems, context-bound solutions (application context in the life sciences), systemic consideration of the application and the context.

Research Centre of Computational Health

«The devision of Computational Health is specialised in the confluence of data-driven and mechanistic modelling approaches in medicine and biology.»

Prof. Dr. Sven Hirsch
Head of the centre

The centre Computational Health addresses fundamental questions in biology and medicine using computer-assisted, data-driven methods. Important tools are machine learning for image and signal analysis, parameter estimation for differential equation systems and multiphysics simulation. Effective validation strategies are used to deal with the unknown.

Research Centre of Digital Labs & Production

«The research group Digital Labs & Production connects people, spaces and processes in the life sciences. From mixed-reality digital twins via progressive web applications to machine-to-machine interfaces, we connect physical and digital worlds through data and analytics.»

Dr. Robert Vorburger
Head of the centre

The centre combines specific methodological and technological expertise in the digitization and virtualization of laboratories, processes and production facilities in the life sciences. This includes, on the one hand, the networking of devices, processes and people using interfaces, data pipelines and data management and, on the other hand, the mapping of physical systems and infrastructures to models and simulation environments. Digital twins are a good example of how these topics interact.