Project data

Swarm Learning for precision medicine in infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness

Initiative: Pioneering research Exploration
Allocation: Oct 17, 2023
Period of funding: 3 Years

Project information

The increased availability of large-scale medical and high-resolution (single-cell) multi-omics data increases the value and the need for machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) applications paving the path towards data-driven precision medicine. Yet, critical questions and challenges remain unanswered, such as how to effectively use single-cell patient data in clinical research across sites, ensuring data protection and privacy, assessing the generalizability and reliability of ML/AI applications, implementing these technologies in real-world clinical settings, monitoring model and data drifts, involving the public and patient groups, and addressing the social and ethical implications of medical AI. To address these vital aspects within the context of infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness, an interdisciplinary team of experts spanning fields from data and information sciences to immunology, virology, clinical infectious diseases, and ethics will collaborate. Leveraging high-resolution single-cell omics data and AI applications across multiple medical centers within Germany as well as with international partners across the world, the team will use the Swarm Learning (SL) principle, which is the first in its kind to combine AI and blockchain technology. SL guarantees highest standards in data protection and privacy by exchanging the concept of data sharing with insight sharing in multi-center studies, allowing ML/AI generalization across institutions, and testing of real-world application of AI under clinical conditions, while continuous learning approaches enable model- and data-drift detection in real time. Taken together, this consortium is expected to create a blueprint for the development of SL-enabled, AI-based diagnostic and prognostic tools by leveraging the combined power of high-dimensional clinical, immunological and single-cell multi-omics data from multiple clinical sites and cohorts, exemplified for infectious diseases, yet, expandable to any other medical field.

Project participants

  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze

    Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative
    Erkrankungen e. V. (DZNE)
    Standort Bonn
    Clinical Single Cell Omics

  • Prof. Dr. Marylyn Martina Addo

    Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
    Sektion Infektiologie
    Institut für Infektionsforschung und

  • Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx

    Technische Universität München
    TUM School of Medicine and Health
    Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin

  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Herold, PhD

    Universität Gießen
    Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg GmbH
    Infektiologie & Experimentelle Pneumologie

  • Prof. Dr. Florian Klein

    Uniklinik Köln
    Centrum für Infektionsmedizin
    Institut für Virologie

  • Prof. Dr. Percy Knolle

    Technische Universität München
    Fakultät für Medizin
    Institut für Molekulare Immunologie

  • Prof. Dr. Leif Erik Sander

    Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    Fächerverb. Infektiologie, Pneumologie, Intensivm.
    Klinik für Infektiologie und Intensivmedizin

  • Prof. Dr. Martina Sester

    Universität des Saarlandes
    Fakultät M (medizinische Fakultät)
    Zentrum für Infektionskrankheiten
    Abt.f. Transplantations- und Infektionsimmunologie

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis

    Helmholtz Zentrum München
    Deutsches Forschungszentrum für
    Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
    Institute of Computational Biology ICB

  • Prof. Dr. Birgit Sawitzki

    Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    Berlin Institute of Health
    Center of Immunomics