Hans Lehrach

Hans Lehrach, Ph.D. became Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin in 1994 (em. 2014). He holds a position as a Visiting Professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China and is founder of several biotechnology companies including Alacris Theranostics GmbH.

His expertise lies in genetics, genomics, systems biology and personalized medicine. He has been a pioneer in the application of next generation sequencing techniques and systems medicine for the development of personalized therapies in cancer (Virtual Patient Model).

The main focus of his research is the development of methods for predicting the behavior of the complex biological systems, through a combination of genetics, genomics, bioinformatics and systems biology techniques. This makes it possible, on the basis of a detailed molecular examination of tumor patients, to develop computer models of the individual patient, i.e. ‘virtual patient models’, which can systematically test all theoretically possible therapies. Thus, the optimal therapy for the individual patient, with a possible reduction of side effects, can be identified and made available to the patient. These techniques can also be used for drug development, testing the many steps involved first on a computer model. Thus, ‘virtual clinical trials’ can reduce the risks of developing new drugs at an early stage, reducing costs and accelerate timelines.