© Marco Schilling
29. January 2024
Hector Science Award 2023

Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz and Prof. Dr. Klaus-Robert Müller receive the Science Award of the Hector Foundation

The Hector Founda­tion II honors the outstand­ing research achieve­ments of the two scien­tists in the fields of stem cell biology and neuro­bi­ol­ogy as well as machine learn­ing and artifi­cial intel­li­gence by present­ing the Hector Science Award to Magdalena Götz and Klaus-Robert Müller.

Magdalena Götz is Chair of Physi­o­log­i­cal Genomics at the Biomed­ical Center of the Ludwig-Maxim­il­ians Univer­sity, direc­tor of the Insti­tute of Stem Cell Research at the Helmholtz Center Munich and exter­nal member of the Max-Planck Insti­tute of Biochem­istry in Martin­sried. Her research focuses on mecha­nisms of brain devel­op­ment and how neurons are gener­ated. This led her to discover direct neuronal repro­gram­ming convert­ing reactive glia after brain injury into new neurons. Her research now aims to move this further towards appli­ca­tion and apply cell engineer­ing in a broader perspec­tive includ­ing her novel insights into organel­lar diver­sity in cells.

Klaus-Robert Müller is an inter­na­tion­ally renowned researcher in the fields of machine learn­ing and artifi­cial intel­li­gence. He is a profes­sor of machine learn­ing at TU Berlin and the direc­tor of BIFOLD (Berlin Insti­tute for the Founda­tions of Learn­ing and Data). His focus lies on founda­tional research at the inter­sec­tion of machine learn­ing and big data manage­ment, with a partic­u­lar empha­sis on explain­able AI, deep learn­ing, and multi­modal learn­ing. Over the last three decades he has also been signif­i­cantly engaged in making the methods of machine learn­ing and artifi­cial intel­li­gence applic­a­ble to other scien­tific disci­plines, such as quantum chemistry, digital histopathol­ogy, neuro­science, and the human­i­ties, in order to create genuinely new knowledge.

The execu­tive board of the Hector Founda­tion and previ­ous award winners met at the "Europäis­cher Hof" in Heidel­berg for the award ceremony on Friday, January 26, 2024. Founder Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector welcomed the two new awardees to the circle of now 30 Hector Fellows, who are jointly commit­ted to inter­dis­ci­pli­nary cutting-edge research in Germany. The two lauda­tors, Prof. Dr. Dr. Chris­t­ian Haass (LMU) and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf (Max Planck Insti­tute for Intel­li­gent Systems, Tübin­gen), agreed that Magdalena Götz and Klaus-Robert Müller will enrich the Hector Fellow Academy with the excel­lence of their basic research, but also with their conta­gious enthu­si­asm for break­ing new ground.