Projects in the Business Area Bioinformatics


The overall goal of NFDI4Health is to best support the clinical and epidemiological research community in sharing their data with the user community in accordance with privacy regulations and ethical principles, and to create new opportunities for data analysis within the Nationalen Forschungsdateninfrastruktur (NFDI) in the interest of improving population health. NFDI4Health is funded by the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under the Bund-Länder Agreement on the Establishment and Funding of the NFDI of November 26, 2018.
Project duration: 10/2020 - 09/2025


The project “zet-o-map” aims to develop better tools for the identification of teratogenic compounds. One of the most promising assays is the zebrafish embryo teratogenicity assay (ZETA). In human risk assessment the evaluation of developmental toxicity or teratogenicity requires the testing of rodents (preferably rats) and non-rodents (preferably rabbits) as described in the OECD 414 guideline. Currently human safety assessment is undergoing a paradigm shift moving towards mechanistic risk assessment and there is a high demand to replace, reduce or refine animal tests where possible for ethical and economic reasons.
Project duration: 03/2021 until 02/2023

More Info


Modelling of Neurodegenerative Diseases

DIGIPD – Validating DIGItal biomarkers for better personalized treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

The European project DIGIPD, funded with around 1.6 million euros and coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI, is investigating the extent to which digital techniques (sensors, speech recognition, recognition of facial expressions) can be used to make a more precise and individualized diagnosis and prognosis of Parkinson's disease.
Project duration: 04/2021 until 03/2024

More Info

COPERIMOplus – COronavirus PErsonalized RIsk MOdels

The participating institutes want to use rational, data-driven modeling to enable individual risk assessments in order to improve the prognosis of disease progression and to optimize personalized therapies and their evaluation based on objective, standardized criteria. Thus, the project contributes to making it possible to live with the pandemic and return to economic and social normality.
Project duration: 10/2020 until 12/2021

More Info

VirtualBrainCloud – Personalized Recommendations for Neurodegenerative Diseases

In the VirtualBrainCloud project, Fraunhofer SCAI is working with 16 European partners on a cloud-based IT platform that enables the simulation of communication paths in the brain. The individual simulation of patient brains supports physicians in finding the right diagnosis and therapy for people with neurodegenerative diseases. This is usually difficult because the course and symptoms of diseases such as Alzheimer's are often very different. With this platform, it will be possible to record the state of health of the brain with little effort. Regular routine examinations will enable physicians to detect and treat Alzheimer's disease at an early stage.
Project duration: 12/2018 until 11/2022

RADAR-AD (Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse – Alzheimer's Disease)

In the RADAR-AD project, the project partners will develop methods with which the functional loss in the brain of Alzheimer patients can be measured at an early stage - not only in hospitals but also on an outpatient basis. So-called remote measurement tools (RMT) will enable remote assessments and thus improve patient care. The project is funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership between the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Project duration: 01/2019 until 06/2022


PHAGO – a new Approach to Help Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

It was only recently discovered that the innate immunoreceptor genes TREM2 and CD33/SGLEC3 play a role in Alzheimer's disease. However, the significance of the identified genes and of the cellular mechanism has not been sufficiently investigated. The PHAGO project is designed to close these knowledge gaps and develop new tools and test methods that work on these immune receptors and open the way to the development of drugs that inhibit the course of the disease. This will allow new therapies for Alzheimer's patients. The project is funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership between the European Union and the Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries in Europe (EFPIA).
Project duration: 11/2016 until 10/2021



In the project IDSN (Integrative data semantics for neurodegenerative research) Fraunhofer SCAI, the Deutsche Zentrum für neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) and the Universitätsklinikum Bonn (UKB) cooperate to improve the early recognition of dementia diseases. For that purpose they analyze clinical data and research data in an overall view.
Project duration: 03/2016 - 07/2021

Human Brain Pharmacome – Prediction and Experimental Validation of Agents for the Prevention of Dementia

The aim of this project is to combine intelligent methods of information extraction, mechanistic modeling of diseases and prediction of active substances with biological drug screening (biological experiments to determine the efficacy of substances) in such a way that possible candidate molecules for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease can be identified very quickly. For this purpose, an integrative approach (a workflow) will be developed and implemented in a prediction engine that uses the systematic acquisition and modeling of drug-target relationships for the prediction of pharmacological effects in the human brain. The project focuses on active substances that are already approved for the treatment of other diseases. This drug repurposing significantly reduces the time and cost required for the clinical development of new, preventive therapies.
Project duration: 02/2018 until 06/2021

More Info

Genome Function Topology

The Genome Function Topology project aims to discover novel principles of the spatial and functional organization of the human genome, by taking into account the global three-dimensional organization of the genome and large-scale knowledge graphs.
Project duration: 11/2018 until 10/2021

More Info

Biomedical Knowledge Graphs

Biomedical knowledge graphs play a central role in big data integration. Bringing unstructured text into a structured, comparable format is one of the key assets. As cause and effect models, knowledge graphs can potentially facilitate clinical decision making or help to drive research towards precision medicine. Data and Knowledge Management, sometimes also called Information Management, is a core topic of Data Science. It is also a interdisciplinary field touching economics (how efficient and expensive is the solution?), psychology (do people use this solution in a way that was intended?) and of course computer science. Our aim is to build sustainable data infrastructure for biomedical data, personalized medicine, drug repurposing, reproducible AI and knowledge discovery.

More Info

COMMITMENT – Integrative Machine Transfer Learning for Psychiatric Diseases

The project "COMorbidity Modeling via Integrative Transfer machine-learning in MENTal illness" (COMMITMENT) will establish an interdisciplinary research framework for the identification of systems-molecular hallmarks of psychotic and comorbid somatic diseases. The identification of shared and distinct biological profiles and their underlying pathophysiological processes will allow disentangling patient heterogeneity and provide the basis for objective tools for personalized clinical management of psychotic disorders.

The overall aim of COMMITMENT is to develop a computational systems medicine framework that allows clinically meaningful stratification of psychotic disorders and the identification of biological processes shared with somatic and neurodegenerative comorbidities.

Fraunhofer SCAI is leading the subproject „TP3 – Systems medicine knowledge and mechanisms“. In this subproject, the knowledge available in the scientific literature in the field of psychotic diseases and their co-morbidities (diabetes; neurodegenerative diseases) will be systematically collected and presented in a form that can be used for machine learning procedures in further work packages of the project.
Project duration: 09/2019 until 08/2022

More Info