Author Archive:MIRACUM


Mannheim prepares for MIRACUM start: Kick-off meeting on 26th September 2017

Before the start of the development and networking phase of the MIRACUM project in January 2018, the University Medicine of Mannheim and the University of Applied Science of Mannheim celebrate the funding of the MIRACUM consortium. The MIRACUM partners will present the basic structures and contents of the MIRACUM projects to local representatives in Mannheim. In addition, they will discuss the possibility of integrating the regional health landscape and of networking with the representatives of the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar, DE:HUB and the office for urban development and cluster management.


MIRACUM receives a funding of €32.1 Mio for the German Medical Informatics Initiative (MI-I)

Today the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has announced that the MIRACUM consortium will receive a funding of €32.1 Mio for its concept of establishing data integration centres (DIC) by implementing use cases to apply data from the respective DIC in research and care and for its concept of strengthening medical informatics in Germany.

Four out of the seven consortia, which have started  into the MI-I conceptual phase in 2016, have now been selected for the MI-I development and networking phase by an international jury of experts in the fields of medicine and medical informatics. The funding period of four years will start in January 2018.

MIRACUM – this is eight universities with eight university hospitals, two universities of applied sciences and one industrial partner spread over five German states. A major focus is on the establishment of data integration centres to link and exchange data of the eight university hospitals. Data protection and data security are given top priority in this venture.

Johanna Wanka, Minister of Education and Research, envisions that „every physician, no matter whether he/she is working in a hospital or as a general practitioner or as a medical specialist, can retrieve all the experience and research results available at the touc h of a button, to include this information into his/hertherapeutic decision. By doing so, the therapy and the counselling of patients will still get better in the future“.

First results have already illustrated the opportunities which arise from the federated analysis of data within the eight MIRACUM DIC. A cohort of stroke patients has been identified and the adherence of clinicians to the recently modified stroke guidelines has been analyzed. In a second small project and together with the HD4CR consortium, real-world clinical pathways have been analyzed for more than 18.000 colorectal cancer patients of eleven maximum care hospitals.

BMBF press report:



e-Health and Medical Data Science: new W2 professorship in Gießen

The TH Mittelhessen announces a W2 professorship with the focus on e-Health and Medical Data Science to boost the team of medical informatics in Gießen. The candidate is expected to hold proficiencies in at least one of the four topics:

  • Knowledge-based systems and machine learning
  • Development of algorithms and pattern recognition
  • Medical adaptive interpretation of sensoric data
  • Medical software development and image processing

Further information is provided in the job posting of the TH Mittelhessen.


MIRACUM enhances bioinformatics competencies in the context of cancer research with a professorship in Frankfurt

In collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Medical Faculty of the Goethe-University announces a new W2 professorship for “Bioinformatics in Oncology” in Frankfurt. Within the field of bioinformatics, she/he will be focussing on oncogenic signal transduction, systems biology and medicine (e.g. data integration) as well as on high throughput experimentation, especially in proteomics. The position will be located at the University Hospital Frankfurt and collaborate with the scientific and clinical research community of the DKTK (, the DKFZ ( and the DKTK partner site Frankfurt / Mainz.


Scoping review on clinical decision support systems accepted for publication

The integration of clinical decision support systems for pharmacogenomic testing into clinical routine has been investigated by the MIRACUM consortium over the last nine months. This joint effort has now resulted in a scoping literature review accepted by BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. A total of 12 authors from nine MIRACUM sites provide an overview of the designs of user-system interactions in recent system developments. The final analysis comprises the essence of 32 articles that were identified in a PubMed search. As the most widespread tool, alerts have been identified, next to pharmacogenomic reports, inbox messages, and several more. The authors conclude that i) further evaluation efforts of developed prototypes will be necessary and ii) in the future clinical decision support systems will include prediction models to identify eligible patients for pre-emptive genotyping.

Hinderer M, Boeker M, Wagner SA, Lablans M, Newe S, Hülsemann JL, Neumaier M, Binder H, Renz H, Acker T, Prokosch HU, Sedlmayr M.
Integrating clinical decision support systems for pharmacogenomic testing into clinical routine – a scoping review of designs of user-system interactions in recent system development.
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2017 Jun 6;17(1):81. DOI: 10.1186/s12911-017-0480-y.


Two new professorships in Magdeburg

The Medical Faculty of the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg aims at promoting its digital infrastructure in the fields of Medical Informatics and announces two new professorships: one W2 Professor for Biostatistics and one W3 Professor in Epidemiology and Health System Research. The latter will hold the position of Director of the Institute for Epidemiology and Health System Research. Please refer to the linked documents for more details.


Second MIRACUM research article accepted for publication in Pharmacogenomics

The second joint project results of the MIRACUM consortium got accepted for publication in Pharmacogenomics. A project team of 11 of our MIRACUM partners has performed a survey among the clinicians of eight German university hospitals to assess the physicians’ attitude, their knowledge and their experience in pharmacogenomic clinical decision support. Overall, 564 physicians of 13 different medical specialties participated. The authors concluded that physicians in German hospitals require additional education of both genetics and pharmacogenomics. Furthermore, the physicians are mostly inexperienced in pharmacogenomic clinical decision support systems (CDSS) but need to be provided with access to relevant pharmacogenomic CDSS.


Hinderer M, Boeker M, Wagner SA, Binder H, Ückert F, Hülsemann JL, Neumaier M, Schade-Brittinger C, Acker T, Prokosch HU, Sedlmayr B. The experience of physicians in pharmacogenomic clinical decision support within eight German University Hospitals. Pharmacogenomics 2017.


MIRACUM workshop at the conhIT 2017 in Berlin

Six members of our MIRACUM consortium held a workshop on the 25th of April 2017 at the conhIT 2017 in Berlin. They presented the current BMBF funding scheme “medical informatics” as well as the most recent areas of research activities of the MIRACUM consortium. As head of the workshop, Paul Schmücker introduced the current BMBF funding scheme “medical informatics” and lead through the workshop session. Martin Lablans provided the audience with an insight into medical data sharing and its tremendous importance for the German healthcare. Following this, Thomas Ganslandt illustrated both the development and the implementation of data repositories for data sharing. The fourth speaker was Jan Christoph describing both how to integrate omics data into clinical data and what might be most challanging to achieve this. Last but not least, Marc Hinderer presented the latest research results of the MIRACUM consortium regarding clinical decision support for molecular tumor boards.


MIRACUM professorships expand

Mannheim University of Applied Sciences : Dr. Ulrike Kutscha starts her work in September

image of Dr. Ulrike Kutscha, a woman with short brown hair and glasses

In autumn 2016 the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim has issued a W2 professorship for “Medical Data Science”. Dr. Ulrike Kutscha (Heidelberg) accepted the call on April 10th, 2017. She will start her work at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences on September 1st, 2017.



Establishment of a new professorship in Mainz

We can also announce the next W2 professorship that has been released by the University Medical Center of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz. The new professor will lead the group of Medical Informatics at the Institute for Medical Biometry, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI). A major focus will be the conceptual design and implementation of a data integration centre. Based on data from patient care and health insurances, research on health services as well as clinical and translational research shall be pursued.


Back from New York City

Jan Christoph and Marc Hinderer of the MIRACUM team spent 10 days in New York City for an intense research visit and have just returned with lots of input for some of our use cases. They also opened the door for future cooperations with three distinguished U.S. biomedical informatics and cancer research centers.

First they had the chance to visit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) for several days to join the molecular oncology and bioinformatics groups of Dr. Michael F. Berger (developer of the powerful and new MSK-IMPACT genome-sequencing test) and Dr. Ahmet Zehir. Especially the interviews with key scientists as well as the participation in the  sign-out meetings of the MSKCC team and the quality control meetings provided valuable input for the MIRACUM use case on precision medicine. Together with our MIRACUM members, Michael Berger illustrated the opportunities of identifing actionable targets with a large gene panel rather than performing whole-exome-sequencing or even whole-genome-sequencing. In several meetings with Ahmet Zehir (Director of Clinical Bioinformatics at MSKCC) they learned about the “Clinical Variation and Result” database which is extensively used for moleculargenetic diagnostics within MSKCC. He invited our MIRACUM members to join him for several sign-out meetings of the MSKCC team and for quality control meetings in order to learn about the advantages of this database. Furthermore, he described how to modify and integrate such a database within the MIRACUM consortium. Moreover, our MIRACUM members met Dr. Sumit Middha and his team in order to understand and analyze the omics pipeline of MSKCC. This pipeline comprises automated and streamlined workflows for DNA sequencing, which has the chance to help taking genomic sequencing in Germany to the next level. Since the development and integration of a pharmacogenomic clinical decision support system is one of MIRACUM’s main goals for the upcoming phase, our MIRACUM members met Dr. Debyani Chakravarty and Dr. Jianjiong Gao, two of the leading scientists for knowledge bases at MSKCC and the main developers of two powerful and well-known tools regarding cancer genomics data. They offered our MIRACUM members a comprehensive insight into OncoKB and cBioPortal. OncoKB is the precision oncology knowledge base of MSKCC, which also comprises a pharmacogenomic clinical decision support system. cBioPortal is a “web resource for exploring, visualizing, and analyzing multidimensional cancer genomics data” (Gao et al. 2016). In addition to that, next steps in order to design and implement both OncoKB and cBioPortal into a German clinical environment were discussed and determined.

MarcA photo showing Hinderer and Jan Christoph in front of the building of the "Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center"

A photo showing Ahmet Zehir, Michael F. Berger, Jan Christoph and Marc Hinderer (standing in front of the office door)

At the Department of Biomedical Informatics of the Columbia University, our MIRACUM members met the two leading scientists in biomedical informatics – Dr. George Hripcsak and Dr. Noemie Elhadad. George Hripcsak is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics of Columbia University and Director of Medical Informatics Services at the Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Campus in New York. Our MIRACUM members discussed with him both the cooperation with the OHDSI consortium and possible approaches to apply the OMOP common data model within MIRACUM. A presentation of the newest version of the Achilles and Atlas tools illustrated the potential of these particular tools for the analysis of cross-network data both within the MIRACUM project and for Germany. Noemie Elhadad is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University and the main developer of the HARVEST tool. She offered the MIRACUM members a comprehensive insight into HARVEST – an innovative tool for the summarization and visualization of care processes. Moreover, she showed potential ways in which HARVEST could support the MIRACUM consortium in its project regarding the visualization of patient timelines.

A photo showing Jan Christoph, George Hripsak and Marc Hinderer standing on the roof deck of the Presbyterian Building

At last, Jan and Marc met leading scientists in clinical health informatics of the Weil Cornell Medical College: Dr. Jyotishman Pathak, Dr. Thomas CampionDr. David R. Artz and Dr. Olivier Elemento. They gave our MIRACUM members an insight into their omics pipeline and discussed potential options for the implementation of their Precision Medicine Knowledgebase (PMKB) into the MIRACUM infrastructure. Since the Weil Cornell Medical College extensively uses i2b2 and OMOP for data integration, the scientists outlined the purpose of the application both within their clinical and their research environment. Furthermore, they described their current pharmacogenomic Clinical Decision Support System and explained the technical mechanisms behind this system.

During all these visits the architecture of the MIRACUM data integration center and the interoperability between similar US initiatives/projects was extensively discussed and opportunities for future cooperations have been outlined.