09.03.2021 00:00 Age: 42 days

Making complex data sets usable for research and clinical applications - New professorship for computational mass spectrometry

Category: Research, Top-News

On March 1, 2021, Mathias Wilhelm was named a tenure-track assistant professor for “Computational Mass Spectrometry” at the TUM School of Life Sciences at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at Freising-Weihenstephan. His work will primarily consist of the efficient analysis of large amounts of data.

Prof. Mathias Wilhelm has held the professorship since March 1, 2021 (Photo: Herbert Bungartz).

Insights into the life sciences and medicine are increasingly being gained on the basis of massively collected molecular and phenotypic data.  Proteomics encompasses the study of the proteome (i.e. the totality of all proteins present in a cell)  and metabolomics (the metabolic properties in a cell ). While the collection of these data is now easily feasible with the aid of mass spectrometry, there is a lack of intelligent, efficient methods to utilise these data when it comes to instrument control and evaluation of the flood of data. The newly created professorship in Computational Mass Spectrometry will therefore complement, support, and expand the existing bioinformatics expertise in the fields of structural biology and gene regulation at the TUM.

“My research focus is to make mass spectrometric data usable for the scientific community in the long term and to make findings from it useful for research and clinical applications,”  explains Professor Wilhelm.  Research priorities for this are the further development of ProteomicsDB, (a database that integrates data from many life sciences)  and the artificial intelligence Prosit to improve the analysis and collection of mass spectrometric data.  Professor Wilhem further elaborates, “The long-term goal is to integrate both technologies to create a new platform that allows researchers to evaluate, analyze, and interpret mass spectrometry data in a combined way.  To date, mass spectrometric data have largely been analyzed in isolation from other experiments;  the ability to network would contribute to a more precise and comprehensive evaluation.

”Particularly important here is the technical proximity to the Bavarian Center for Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry (BayBioMS).  BayBioMS is a science and technology platform of the TUM that provides state-of-the-art proteomics and metabolomics tools for application in biomedicine, plant, and food research within the TUM as well as with research partners outside the university.  Professor Wilhelm thus also fulfills a bridging function between the molecular biosciences at the TUM School of Life Sciences and the TUM faculties of Medicine and Computer Science.

Mathias Wilhelm was born in Chemnitz and studied “Bioinformatics and Genomic” and “Natural Science Informatics” at Bielefeld University.  Since 2017, has has been a research associate in the department of Proteomics and Bioanalysis at the TUM School of Life Sciences, Freising.  The 36-year-old has worked as a research assistant at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA and held a PhD position at SAP.

Susanne Neumann
TUM School of Life Sciences
Press and Public Relations
Mail: susanne.neumann[at]tum.de
Phone: +49 8161.71.3207

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Dr. Mathias Wilhelm
TUM School of Life Sciences
Professor for Computational Mass Spectrometry
Mail: mathias.wilhelm[at]tum.de
Phone: +49 8161.71.4202