Issue 1 | 2022

22. March 2022

This year began with tremendously good news: Ganna Gryn’ova, head of the Computational Carbon Chemistry (CCC) group, was selected to receive a prestigious ERC Starting Grant of around 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC grants reflect the high quality of our research. Researchers in six out of thirteen groups are now working with funding from an ERC grant or are involved as beneficiaries.

Researchers from the Computational Molecular Evolution (CME) group at HITS have been involved in building the digital infrastructure “Serratus”. It enables researchers to effectively search public sequence databases for biological viruses. So far, it has been used to identify more than 130,000 new RNA viruses – from corona viruses to relatives of the hepatitis D virus and bacteriophages. The results were published in the scientific journal “Nature”.

Finally, we present “SIMPLAIX”, a three-way-cooperation between HITS, the University of Heidelberg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation. This research initiative combines multiscale simulation and machine learning. SIMPLAIX is coordinated by HITS researchers Rebecca Wade and Frauke Gräter.

About HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.

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