MLL and Institute of AI for Health of the Helmholtz Center of Munich Announce Research Collaboration

The Munich Leukemia Laboratory and the newly founded Institute of AI for Health (AIH) of the Helmholtz Center of Munich have agreed on comprehensive collaboration for research and development. The primary goal is the implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence in various areas of leukemia diagnostics.

In the collaborative partnership, the main contribution of Munich Leukemia Laboratory will be its extensive diagnostic and clinical databases and its medical-diagnostic expertise, while the AIH has years of know-how in the field of machine learning applications and data science. Thus, both partners anticipate very high synergistic potential for the joint further development of increasingly data-driven leukemia diagnostics. They are united in the conviction that joint research for the comprehensive implementation of digitalization and artificial intelligence is to be a key element of the collaboration. By pursuing this venture, both parties are expressing their intention to promote scientific progress and the well-being of patients through their work.

For several years now, there have been project-based collaborations between MLL and the Helmholtz Center, such as the AI-based detection of blood cancer cells and the prediction of leukemia subtypes in blood and bone marrow microscopy. Another project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and combines the biomedical and AI expertise of both research partners to analyze large amounts of genomic data with the aim of better understanding the molecular basis of leukemia, defining new disease subtypes, and enabling improved personalized treatment of patients.

“Based on the very successful cooperation to date and in view of the great expertise of both partners in their core competencies, the basic arrangement of long-term collaboration in the field of leukemia diagnostics appears to be the fully natural next step,” says Professor Torsten Haferlach of MLL. “We generate gigantic amounts of data every day in routine diagnostics alone. It is only with the help of AI-based methods that systematic analysis and detection of patterns in this data is even conceivable. In this respect, we consider ourselves fortunate to have the AIH of the Helmholtz Center of Munich as an extremely capable partner at our side.”

Carsten Marr, Director of the AIH, feels the same: “With its extensive data and unique expertise, MLL is the perfect partner to advance our AI-based leukemia diagnostics. We are building on cooperation that has already been close in the past and are hoping to put our algorithms to use with MLL. That way, patients can benefit directly from our research.”

The recent founding of the AIH at the Helmholtz Center of Munich is a step that gives further impetus to the previous collaboration between the two partners and is an appropriate step due to the increasing focus on data science and healthcare at the Helmholtz Center of Munich.

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Dr. med. Christian Pohlkamp

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