New professorship for Computational Cancer Biology, Dr. Roland Schwarz appointed to Cologne – Gütsel Online
dr re. nat. On January 1, 2022, Roland Schwarz will accept a new W3 professorship on the topic of “Computational Cancer Biology” from the University Hospital of Cologne and the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne.
Reading time 3 minutes, 6 seconds, Article last edited on January 28, 2022
Dr Roland Schwarz. Photo: Michael Wodak
New professorship for Computational Cancer Biology, Dr. Roland Schwarz appointed to Cologne
Cologne, January 28, 2022
dr re. nat. On January 1, 2022, Roland Schwarz will accept a new W3 professorship on the topic of “Computational Cancer Biology” from the University Hospital of Cologne and the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne. dr Schwarz has thus occupied one of four new professorships at the joint Cancer Research Center Cologne Essen ?? CCCE” of the West German Tumor Center (WTZ) at the University Hospital Essen and the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) at the University Hospital Cologne. This was made possible by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which supports the CCCE and the state-wide establishment of a “Cancer Medicine Excellence Network” in order to advance patient-oriented research in the field of personalized cancer therapy.
dr Schwarz is a proven expert in machine learning, theoretical computer science and clinical oncology. He will expand the development of algorithms in oncology and build on his collaboration in large data analysis consortia. As a Principal Investigator in the TCGA/ICGC Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), he developed statistical and deep learning models that predict the effects of somatic genetic variations on gene regulation. Close cooperation with the Center for Data and Simulation Sciences at the University of Cologne, which was founded in 2018, is also planned.
Univ.-Prof. dr Gereon R. Fink, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, about the newcomer from Berlin: “We are very pleased that Dr. Schwarz follows the call to Cologne. He is doing research in a very young field and we are curious to see what insights the intelligent processing and evaluation of medical data will lead to.« The head of the CIO and spokesman for the CCCE, Univ.-Prof. dr Michael Hallek, adds: “With Dr. Schwarz, we were able to gain an excellent specialist from a highly innovative field of research who is also well networked both nationally and internationally. I am really looking forward to working with him.«
Roland Schwarz comes from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, an institution of the Helmholtz Association, where he has worked as a junior group leader since 2016 and within the partner site of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK). As a computer scientist, he and his working group “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” investigated the topics of machine learning and statistical algorithms with the aim of better understanding the causes and possible consequences of differences in tumors and cancer evolution.
“Cellular and molecular differences within a tumor play a crucial role in many types of cancer, especially for diagnostics and the development of targeted therapies,” says Dr. Black. »Cancer is driven by evolutionary processes. The cells change their cyclic composition and fight for survival, too. Each tumor has its own family tree, with effects on the formation of metastases or its individual treatability.«
dr Schwarz takes on the complex task of recording changes in the number of copies of certain genes with high spatial and temporal resolution. Together with teams from Great Britain, Schwarz has developed algorithms that can reconstruct these copy numbers with the utmost precision: the software tool Refphase can identify continuous changes in the genome (so-called SCNAs from Somatic Copy Number Changes) with particular precision. The evolutionary history of the cancer can then be accurately reconstructed using the MEDICC2 algorithm. Using these procedures, Dr. Schwarz and colleagues 2020 trace the ongoing evolution in different types of cancer. For his work on cancer genome evolution, Dr. Schwarz already received the prize in cancer research from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in 2016.
Roland Schwarz was born in Klever in 1979. He was a postdoc at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute from 2009 to 2012 and a Marie Curie fellowship at EMBL, European Bioinformatics Institute, in Hinxton from 2012 to 2016. During this time, he also worked as a Junior and later Senior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, before moving to the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin as a junior research group leader in 2016. Until 2003 he studied computer science in Würzburg and Schloss 2008 with the Dr. re. nat. at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg.