Andreas Steier

AI expert of the Bundestag visits BIMSB

What does artificial intelligence (AI) have to do with health research? What are MDC scientists at the "Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology" (BIMSB) working on and what hurdles do they have to overcome? Andreas Steier, member of the Bundestag for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), discussed these questions with researchers on 22 May during a visit to the new building of the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin-Mitte.

As a member of the Bundestag's Enquete Commission „Artificial Intelligence“, Steier, a trained engineer, is familiar with many application questions relating to AI. The term has long since ceased to be confined to information technology or major industrial sectors such as the automotive industry. AI is also part of medicine and basic medical research. In health research, the aim is to use artificial intelligence to process the gigantic amounts of data from patients that are generated during state-of-the-art medical examinations. In this way, scientists and doctors try to find answers to fundamental disease-related questions - and also to develop therapies. Nikolaus Rajewsky, Head of the BIMSB, and Heike Graßmann, Administrative Director of the MDC, explained all this during a guided tour of the new research building.

However, sensitive patient data is only available to a limited extent in Germany for legal reasons. The exchange of data between the treating clinics also quickly reaches its limits. In addition, there is no infrastructure yet to share large amounts of data with research partners. As Nikolaus Rajewsky and the scientists Uwe Ohler, Roland Schwarz and Altuna Akalin made clear during the politician's visit, from the point of view of the research teams all this contributes to the fact that the AI potential is not fully exploited here. A lot of material to think about and process for the AI expert of the Union faction in the Bundestag.