AIDD project

Helmholtz Zentrum München Coordinates new ITN Project

Helmholtz Zentrum München coordinates the new Innovative Training Network (ITN) "Advanced Machine Learning for Innovative Drug Discovery". The project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie actions with 3.93 million Euro.

Head of the new ITN project is Dr. Igor Tetko, Institute of Structural Biology. The project builds on the institute's experience in training PhD students for translational research in drug discovery and chemoinformatics. In three previous projects, the Institute supervised a total of 64 European fellowship holders. The Advanced Machine Learning for Innovative Drug Discovery (AIDD) project will bring together fifteen institutions from ten European countries and the University of British Columbia (Canada) to train sixteen PhD students in close collaboration with associated partners from the USA, Australia, China, Israel and other countries.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming an increasingly important working basis for the chemical industry. However, the application of AI in this field is not easy and requires extensive knowledge of chemistry. The aim of the new AIDD network is to prepare a future generation of scientists with outstanding skills in both machine learning and chemistry to innovate drug research.

Fellows will develop methods for predicting chemical reactivity and an interpretable multi-expert system for drug discovery, integrate microscopic images and structural information for the assessment of biological and toxic effects of molecules, and validate computational models for the design of new compounds. At the center, students will also benefit in particular from the services offered by the recently launched Helmholtz-AI platform. The opportunities include seminars, courses, tutorials and above all personal interactions with Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis, head of Helmholtz-AI and his staff. These activities are an important aspect of the interdisciplinary drug discovery research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, which build on novel insight into disease mechanisms to develop novel therapies.

"The project combines theoretical expertise with access to valuable proprietary data and the expertise of the industrial partners in medicinal and synthetic chemistry and will thus contribute innovative AI methods.  Another main focus of AIDD is to train the next generation of researchers in interdisciplinary drug discovery and thus make a valuable contribution to future research in Europe," said AIDD project coordinator Igor Tetko.

With the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), the European Union supports the international and cross-sectoral careers of scientists. The measures are part of the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. The Innovative Training Networks (ITN) are the most prestigious projects of the MSCA with typical success rates of 5 to 10 percent.

Further information about AIDD can be found on the project website.

Detailed information on previous projects coordinated by the STB can be found here: MSCA ITN AEGIS, MSCA ITN EID BIGCHEM and MSCA ITN ECO.