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EU Funds joint proj­ect with Helmholtz Centre

In Search of New Drugs with the Help of Artificial In­tel­li­gence

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Portrait of Professor Paul Czodrowski © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity
Collaborating with Helmholtz Zentrum München: Professor Paul Czodrowski from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is coordinating the new In­no­va­tive Train­ing Network (ITN) “Advanced Machine Learn­ing for In­no­va­tive Drug Discovery”. Also participating is Professor Paul Czodrowski from the Faculty of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. In the frame­work of its Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), the European Un­ion has awarded the proj­ect €3.93 million in funding, of which around €150,000 have been allocated to TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity.

The proj­ect Advanced Machine Learn­ing for In­no­va­tive Drug Discovery (AIDD) will bring together fif­teen in­sti­tu­ti­ons from ten European coun­tries and the Uni­ver­sity of British Columbia (Canada), which will train sixteen doctoral researchers in close collaboration with associated partners from the USA, Australia, China, Israel, and other coun­tries. Project leader is Dr. Igor Tetko from the In­sti­tute of Structural Biology in Munich. The proj­ect builds on the institute’s experience in qualifying doctoral researchers for translational re­search in the areas of drug dis­cov­ery and chemoinformatics. In three previous projects, it was responsible for the super­vi­sion of no less than 64 European fellows.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming an increasingly im­por­tant foundation for work in the chemical industry. However, the use of AI in this sector is not easy and demands an ex­ten­sive knowledge of chem­is­try. The aim of the new AIDD network is to train a fu­ture gen­era­tion of sci­en­tists – with excellent skills in both machine learning as well as chem­is­try – to shape drug re­search through innovation.

Valuable contribution for fu­ture re­search in Europe

The fellows will develop methods for predicting chemical reactivity and an interpretable multi-expert system for drug dis­cov­ery, integrate mi­cros­co­py images and structural in­for­mation for assessing the biological and toxic ef­fects of mol­ecules, and validate calculation models for the de­sign of new compounds. They will especially ben­efit from the opportunities offered by the re­cent­ly launched Helmholtz AI platform, which include semi­nars, courses, tutorials, and above all personal contact to Professor Fabian Theis, head of the Helmholtz Artificial In­tel­li­gence Corporation Unit (HAICU), and his team. These activities are an im­por­tant component of inter­dis­ci­plin­ary drug re­search at Helmholtz Zentrum München, which builds on new insights into disease mecha­nisms to develop new therapy approaches.

“The AIDD proj­ect combines theoretical know-how with access to valuable proprietary data and the expertise of the industrial partners in medical and synthetic chem­is­try, thus producing in­no­va­ti­ve AI methods. Another focus is to train the next gen­era­tion of researchers in inter­dis­ci­plin­ary drug dis­cov­ery and make a valuable contribution to fu­ture re­search in Europe,” says Igor Tetko, the proj­ect’s coordinator.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) of the European Un­ion foster in­ter­na­tio­nal and cross-sectoral re­search careers. The actions are part of Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and In­no­va­ti­on. The In­no­va­tive Train­ing Networks (ITN) are the most prestigious MSCA projects, with a typical success rate of five to ten percent.

Further in­for­mation on Advanced Machine Learn­ing for In­no­va­tive Drug Discovery (AIDD)

Contact for further in­for­mation:

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).