New DFG Research Training Group at Heidelberg University
10 November 2014
Heidelberg scientists also involved in a TU Darmstadt research training group
In the latest round of grant allocations by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Heidelberg University has been successful with its application to set up a new research training group at the Medical Faculty Mannheim. The DFG has allocated over 4.9 million euros for the research training group on “Hallmarks of Skin Cancer: Cancer Cell Dissemination, Primary Resistance, Novel Targets”. In addition, scientists from the Department of Computational Linguistics at Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) are to play a major part in the new research training group “Adaptive information processing from heterogeneous sources” with the Technische Universität Darmstadt as lead university. Funding for both research training groups was approved for an initial period of four and a half years, to enable structured training for doctoral students.
Due to environmental factors and the aging population, skin cancer is a growing health problem for the whole of society. The new research training group at the Medical Faculty Mannheim will focus on gaining a better understanding of the biology of skin cancer, the healing of which is difficult when the cancer becomes metastatic. The group will work in four sub-fields important for the development of future treatment options for metastatic disease. These include skin cancer stem cells and their genetic changes, the interaction of skin cancer with the tumour micro-environment, in particular the blood vessels, as well as the death of skin cancer cells. In addition, immune treatments for the malignant melanoma are to be developed. This new research training group will be led by Prof. Dr. Sergij Goerdt, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology at Mannheim University Hospital. Besides the Mannheim dermatologists, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Medical Faculty Heidelberg will be involved. Planned international contacts include cooperation with St. John’s Institute of Dermatology in London. The research training group will start work in the summer semester of 2015.
How can unstructured information from very differing electronic texts, notably from the internet, be effectively explored with automatic methods so as to produce stylistically unified and substantively high-quality dossiers? This will be the question for doctoral students participating in the new research training group supported by scientists from Darmstadt and Heidelberg. The DFG has approved funding totalling a good 5 million euros for this research training group. Its research programme goes beyond data mining, i.e. the IT-supported marking, extracting and evaluating of knowledge from structured databases and tables. To this end, it plans to develop methods that can be adapted to differing genres and areas, and also to different user groups. The research training group will bring together different disciplines – computational linguistics, language technology, information technology and information management – and train young researchers with highly sought-after skills. The group’s deputy spokesperson will be Prof. Dr. Anette Frank from the Institute for Computational Linguistics of Heidelberg University. The Heidelberg scientists will contribute their expertise in semantic discourse processing to the inter-university, interdisciplinary doctoral training. The research training group will start work in the summer semester of 2015.