Computing the tree of life: The Computational Molecular Evolution group at HITS

11 12 2018

The “Scientific Computing“ group (SCO, group leader: Prof. Alexandros Stamatakis) will change its name as of January 1st, 2019: To better reflect its main research area it is now renamed into  “Computational Molecular Evolution“ (CME).

Bioinformatician Alexandros Stamatakis joined HITS in fall 2010. Since 2012, he is also full professor for high performance computing in the life sciences at the Karlsruhe Institute of technology (KIT). Stamatakis is a “highly cited researcher” and the author of the RAxML tool that is used by evolutionary biologists around the world to infer phylogenetic trees.

At HITS, Alexandros Stamatakis established his research group “Scientific Computing”. Its work comprises software for inferring evolutionary trees, the evaluation and use of emerging parallel computer architectures, the evolution of cancer cells, and the statistical classification of gut bacteria. Members of the group have reconstructed large evolutionary trees of plants, insects and birds in international research projects. As the group´s mission is to enable research in evolutionary biology by means of accurate methods and scalable software, the name change into “Computational Molecular Evolution” better reflects its main research focus.

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.

Click here to go to the German home page.