Leibniz Universität Hannover appoints Prof. Dr. Maria-Esther Vidal as professor for “Scientific Data Management”

Vidal is researching data management of big, heterogeneous data and shows what potential data analysis offers for medicine, life sciences and industry

Since 1 August 2021, Maria-Esther Vidal is Professor for “Scientific Data Management” at the Institute for Distributed Systems at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Leibniz Universität Hannover. Congratulations!

Prof. Dr. Maria-Esther Vidal, a computer scientist, has been head of the “Scientific Data Management” research group at TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology since 2017 and is a member of the L3S Research Center at LUH.

“We are currently beginning to recognise the potential of research data in science. With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Maria-Esther Vidal, we can use this potential even better for solving social challenges at Leibniz Universität Hannover, at the L3S Research Center and at TIB,” says Prof. Dr. Sören Auer, Director of TIB and Professor of Data Science and Digital Libraries at LUH.

Excellent research in the field of Data Science

Maria-Esther Vidal’s research has focused on large-scale distributed heterogeneous data management. The outcomes of her work show the power of integrating disparate sources of knowledge to uncover patterns for the support of decision making. Using these technologies, conditions that can affect the effectiveness of treatment or survival time in life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer and dementia can be detected. Vidal has expanded the boundaries of data integration and applied knowledge graphs technologies in biomedicine, life sciences, and Industry 4.0. For her work on scientific data management, she received the Science Prize of the Stifterverband for “Research in Responsibility”.

“Scientific data have experienced exponential growth in the last decade, encoding knowledge essential for accurate decision-making and assuring citizens a high-quality life. The professorship on “Scientific Data Management” supports the development of theoretical foundations and algorithmic paradigms for transforming scientific data into actionable knowledge following principles of responsible data management,” Maria-Esther Vidal describes the challenges and tasks in data management.

TrustKG project of the Leibniz Association launched

Maria-Esther Vidal was recently awarded for leading the TrustKG project as part of the Leibniz Best Minds: Programme for Women Professors. A flood of data is produced worldwide every day. This data – or more precisely, the integration of data from various projects – provides a high potential to solve a wide range of challenges. Critical situations like the COVID-19 pandemic stress the necessity of counting on trustable data-driven solutions for assertive decision-making. The TrustKG project aims at addressing the grand challenge of enabling explainable pipelines for transforming scientific data into semantically enhanced knowledge. The TrustKG knowledge graph will integrate causal explanations of the actions and decisions taken at different phases of collecting, curating, and integrating the scientific data required to execute analytical methods. As a result, we envision a new paradigm for data management towards explainable Artificial Intelligence (AI). TrustKG will be applied in the context of lung and breast cancer – and now COVID-19 too – to support personalized treatments.

About Prof. Dr. Maria-Esther Vidal

Maria-Esther Vidal is from Venezuela and has been leading the “Scientific Data Management” research group at TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology in Hannover since 2017. She is also a member of L3S Research Center at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). On 1 August 2021, Vidal was appointed by Leibniz Universität Hannover as a full professor for “Scientific Data Management” at the Institute for Distributed Systems at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is also a full professor (retired) at the Department of Computer Science at the University Simón Bolívar, Venezuela. Vidal held visiting professorships at several universities such as in Maryland (USA), Madrid, Barcelona, Karlsruhe and Nantes and was a senior scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS (2016-2018).

Maria-Esther Vidal has made significant contributions to data management, semantic data integration, and machine learning over knowledge graphs. She is a co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed articles in Semantic Web, Databases, Bioinformatics, and Artificial Intelligence. Maria-Esther has successfully acquired third-party funds and plays a leading role in semantic data integration and knowledge representation in EU H2020 and national projects. She participates as an expert in advisory boards, summer schools and doctoral consortia and has supervised more than 20 postgraduates and more than 130 master's and bachelor's students in computer science.