Immersing into microbial ecosystems

New ELBE visiting faculty at CSBD

German computer scientist Christian L. Müller just joined the CSBD for a three-month stay within the ELBE Visiting Faculty Program. Christian is currently a Project Leader in Computational Statistics at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Biology in New York, USA. The Flatiron Institute, which was founded in 2016, is part of the Simons Foundation. With his group, Müller develops high-dimensional statistics methods and algorithms that are applied to biological questions.

“I am fascinated by microbes forming high-functioning ecosystems like the gastrointestinal flora or mediating the global cycle of elements in the oceans. I want to understand how these microbial communities function, interact and depend on each other and their environment,” Christian says. To do so, he and his collaborators analyze genomic data obtained by Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) technology and develop novel algorithms and statistical methods to understand the complex correlations and dependencies within the microbial ecosystems.

During his stay, Christian works closely together with Ivo Sbalzarini, Professor for Scientific Computing for Systems Biology at the TU Dresden, and director at the CSBD. Müller, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ETH Zürich, adds, “I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other scientists within the cross-disciplinary scope of the CSBD and its neighboring institutes”.

Via the ELBE Visiting Faculty Program, the CSBD continuously offers funded opportunities for junior and senior researchers working in the area of its mission. During their stay, visiting faculty closely interacts with research groups at the CSBD, as well as with labs at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS).