Rebekka Burkholz

Helmholtz Center CISPA

Stuhlsatzenhaus 5

66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

burkholz (at) cispa (dot) de

I am a tenure-track faculty member at the Helmholtz Center CISPA, where I lead the Relational Machine Learning Group. Our research combines robust algorithm design and complex network science with the quest for a theoretical understanding of deep neural networks. Based on theoretical and experimental insights, we develop compressed models and algorithms that are robust to noise, adapt to a changing environment, and integrate information that can be available in form of small amounts of data as well as various forms of domain knowledge. This makes our approach particularly well suited for the biomedical domain. While we care about solving real world problems in general and in collaboration with domain experts, we have a special love for problems related to glycans, gene regulation, and its alterations during cancer progression.




Academic service 

Short CV

From February 1st, 2019 to August 30th, 2021, I worked with John Quackenbush and a great interdisciplinary team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on inference of gene regulatory networks and machine learning. Our primary goal was to gain new insights into cancer.  

From June 2017 - January 2019, I enjoyed doing postdoctoral research at the Institute for Machine Learning  with Joachim Buhmann, where I had the pleasure to lead the efforts of ISE group to automate diagnosis and prognosis of carciovascular diseases in collaboration with cardiologists at UniversitySpital Zurich.

From June 2016 - May 2017, I was a PostDoc at the Chair of Systems Design headed by my doctoral father Frank Schweitzer at ETH Zurich.

From June 26th - July 12th, 2017, I felt honored  to visit Asuman Ozdaglar and her group at MIT. 

My PhD research about systemic risk (February 2013 - May 2016) was part of the ETH48 project at the ETH Risk Center, supervised by Frank Schweitzer and co-supervised by Hans J. Herrmann. My thesis has won the Zurich Dissertation Prize and my work on systemic risk in international maize trade won the CSF Best Contribution Award

Before moving to Zurich, I interned at d-fine and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt am Main (Germnay) to experience the fast moving financial industry.  I am grateful for the many insights. 

I enjoyed studying  Physics (B.Sc.) and Mathematics (B.Sc.,M.Sc) at TU Darmstadt (Germany) from October 2006 to March 2011 and at Lund University from September 2008 - June 2009. I loved to explore the realms of stochastic as well as deterministic partial differential equations, fluid dynamics, numerical analysis, and optimization. 

I am very grateful to Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst for the academic and ideational scholarship and to Femtec for the soft skill trainings as well as the great network.