Computer-aided science and methods of artificial intelligence are playing a vital role in research groups at the Max Delbrück Center more and more. However, IT careers are still predominantly chosen by men instead of women. Young men, on the other hand, are less likely to choose professions in (animal) care. 22 partcipipants got a firsthand look at the work of IT specialists in health research, including their tasks and projects. The following departments at Max Delbrück Center and labs at MDC-BIMSB and ECRC were involved in activities of the day:
- Petra Lange, Janina Jänichen, Cynthia Glaser, Jeannette Haß, Daniela Janzen & Jasmin Bonkowski demonstrated in a roadshow through their department what women in IT can achieve and how they found their way into these professions with courage, skill, and sometimes luck.
- The girls learned how to analyze DNA and find genes using a computer program with Vic-Fabienne Schumann & Alexander Blume (Team Altuna Akalin/ Nikolaus Rajewsky).
- Brigitte Bouman & Carla Mölbert (Team Laleh Haghverdi) developed new mathematical, computer-aided methods for analyzing biological data sets. The girls programmed their own application that can detect specific sequences in genetic material.
- Theda Bartolomäus, Robert Brücking & Till Birkner (Team Sofia Forslund) showed the girls how heart and circulatory diseases affect life in the gut using computer models.
- Melissa Birol's team is studying what "dancing spaghetti" does in the brain. In the laboratory with Elisabeth Fritsch, the girls were able to work with cell cultures, examine them under a microscope, and look at mini-organs created from human stem cells that replicate the brain in a petri dish (organoids).
- Daniela Valdez, Sarah Kedziora & Gabriele N'diayeaus (Team Dominik Müller/ Ralf Dechend) researched how smoking affects pregnancy and what insights can be gained from single-cell analysis of the placenta. The girls worked with cell cultures in the lab and learned about computer programs that assist in analysis.
- Together with Viktoriia Huryn & Pascal Wetzel (Team Uwe Ohler), the girls navigated a data jungle and learned how "deep learning" and bioinformatics can help better understand gene regulation.
- Together with Jannis Walter, the seven boys visited the animal house. Here they found out more about the job as an animal keeper.