Genomics and AI in the context of

One Health

Research group led by Lara Urban

We study how genomics, portable technology, statistics and machine learning can benefit environmental health and nature conservation in the context of One Health, which affirms that human health and our planet's health are inextricably linked.

This research group is funded by a Helmholtz Principal Investigator Grant awarded to Lara together with a Principal Investigator position at the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus and the Helmholtz AI institute and a faculty position at the Technical University of Munich School of Life Sciences. Until 2022, Lara's research focused on how genomics can support the recovery of critically endangered wildlife in her role as an Independent Humboldt Research Fellow in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This website is still being filled; please refer here for Lara's past research, here for our institutional representation at Helmholtz Munich, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, and Helmholtz AI, and here for Lara's faculty affiliation at the Technical University of Munich

We support fair and responsible research assessments, discourage the inappropriate use of proxies such as journal impact factors, and value research outputs based on their intrinsic merit [text adopted by EMBL statement]. Our group is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Group diary 2023

17-03-2023 EU-INTERACT grant: We're delighted to announce that Lara and our Master's student Anastasia have been awarded the EU-INTERACT grant to pursue their exciting new research project: "Holistic glacier ice microbiome studies for assessing the risk of thawing-induced zoonotic disease ". This project aims to study glacier ice microbiomes by deploying portable nanopore sequencing technology coupled with in situ Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Hintereis Research Station. Congratulations Anastasia and Lara for this great success!

10-03-23 Invited panelist at the eLife Sense of Belonging Circle event: Lara is invited to speak on the "Sense of Belonging Circle: Women in Science" panel, taking place on March 27th. To learn more about the panel and how to attend, please visit here. We hope to see you there!

01-03-23 Invited keynote panelist at the Mobile World Congress 2023 Lara is invited to speak on the keynote stage in Barcelona this week upon invitation by the Digital Future Society and the First Vice President of the Government of Spain; she will share the stage with the First Vice President Nadia Calviño and representatives of UNICEF and the global health companies Ayudame3D and UniversalDoctor, and many more: Be in touch with Lara if you want to chat on-site! The recording from keynote stage and the full video of the congress is available here.

23-02-23 Invited talk about equity in science Lara is invited to the Inspiring Women series by Helmholtz Munich STEM-Tisch; she talks about "Your Career, Your Life, Your Choice". For further information on participating online here (in-person participation is unfortunately booked out); the recording will be made available here shortly.

08-02-23 Invited talk "Real-time Genomics for One Health" Lara showcases several examples where she and the group have leveraged real-time genomics through portable nanopore sequencing in the realms of biodiversity, infectious disease, and water and air quality research. See here for abstract and online participation. The recorded talk is now available here.  

07-02-23 PhD defense Our group's postdoc Amit has successfully defended his thesis; see a picture of his celebration here. Together with Albert who defended his thesis at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in January before joining the group, we now have two doctors in the group (plus Lara)! 

02-02-23 Group celebration Our entire group of now nine (!) people had a fantastic social evening out in Munich; see more here

26-01-23 Invited talk "Non-invasive real-time genomic monitoring of the critically endangered kākāpō" Lara gives an online seminar upon invitation by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. For more information, click here. The recording is available here; thanks to the more than 600 online participants!   

16-01-23 "Nachwuchswissenschaftler" Award Lara has been declared Young Investigator of the Year 2022 by the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV) and academia/ZEIT for her lasting positive impact on science and research through outstanding commitment; she will receive her prize at the Gala der deutschen Wissenschaft in Berlin on April 3rd, 2023. For more information, click here for the original announcement and find the Helmholtz announcements in the English language here (Helmholtz AI), here (Pioneer Campus), or here (Helmholtz Munich).

09-01-23 New group members The beginning of 2023 has added two new members to our team, postdocs Amit and Albert. We look forward to having these two excellent and motivated researchers work with us, and to welcoming them properly at the next big group dinner on Feb 2nd. For more information, click here.

01-09-22 Invited Talk "Real-time Genomics for One Health" Lara gives an invited keynote talk on Genomics for One Health at the European Conference on Computational Biology 2022. The recorded talk is available here