As of January 2019, Priv.-Doz Dr. Wolfgang Müller is the new Scientific Director of HITS. As the position of Scientific Director rotates through the group leaders, this is a planned change in the HITS management. Michael Strube, who had been Scientific Director for the last two years, stepped down from this position at the end of the year. The new deputy Scientific Director will be Prof. Dr. Frauke Gräter.
Wolfgang Müller is head of the Scientific Databases and Visualization group (SDBV) and Privatdozent at the University of Bamberg. He studied physics and computer science and earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Geneva/Switzerland. Afterwards, he was assistant professor at the Universities of Bayreuth and Bamberg and did his Habilitation in Bamberg. Since almost eleven years, he has been working at HITS/EML Research. His research interests focus on data retrieval and on tools and technologies to enhance data with knowledge. Wolfgang Müller has been the data management coordinator of large projects of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF). He is also the HITS representative in transnational life sciences infrastructure initiatives. Together with science journalist Volker Stollorz and the Science Media Center Germany, Wolfgang Müller developed the data editing tool “Operation Explorer” that helps journalists to extract relevant data in the health system.
The chemist Frauke Gräter is group leader of the Molecular Biomechanics group (MBM) at HITS and Professor for Molecular Biomechanics at Heidelberg University. She studied chemistry in Germany, the United States, Japan and China. Since 2009, she has been at HITS/EML Research. Her major research interest is to decipher how proteins have been designed to specifically respond to mechanical forces in the cellular environment or as a biomaterial, covering medicine topics like blood clotting as well as materials science on spider silk or nacre. For her outstanding impact on HPC research, Frauke Gräter was awarded PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC.
The Scientific Director (“Institutssprecher”) is a group leader appointed by the HITS shareholders. The order of the appointment is determined by the length of activity as a group leader at the Institute. The Scientific Director represents the Institute in all scientific matters vis-à-vis cooperation partners and the public.
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.