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As announced in the previous blog post, many of the former PrECISE project partners are currently involved in the follow-up H2020 project “iPC”.

“iPC” stands for “Individualized Paediatric Cure” and the project’s goal is to collect, standardize and harmonize existing clinical knowledge and medical data and, with the help of artificial intelligence, create treatment models for patients. Scientists will test them on virtual patients to evaluate treatment efficacy and toxicity, thus improving both patient survival and their quality of life.

In order to accomplish the project’s goals, an interdisciplinary team consisting of basic, translational, and clinical researchers - all amongst the leaders in their respective fields – has been formed. In addition, strong relationships with European Centres of Excellence, patient organizations, and clinical trials which focus on personalised medicine for our proposed case studies, have been established.

To summarize, iPC will address the critical need for personalized medicine for children with cancer, contribute to the digitalization of clinical workflows and support the European Digital Single Market Strategy. Find out more about iPC on the following website:  and follow the project on Twitter:


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After three years of hard work a team of doctors and scientists from Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, France and the US are happy to announce the successful conclusion of the PrECISE project. Its main achievement was to build - with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) - a user-friendly interface which can sift through thousands of different data sets and publications in order to help the clinical research community to craft individualized treatment plans for men who suffer from prostate cancer. Not only that, PrECISE now inspires also other scientists to use AI in a useful way for cancer treatment. Many of the former project partners are now collaborating in a follow-up project – called iPC – which uses the same technologies, but focusing on children cancer.

To sum up the project, a new podcast edition as well as a brand-new video have been released on the project website. Follow this link to check them out:

If you are interested in all scientific publications that emerged from the PrECISE project, then have a look here:

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The technical and Advisory Board (AB) meeting in Zurich took place from 11th - 12th April 2018, hosted by ETH Zurich. The first day was dedicated to consortium internal discussions. The agenda of the technical meeting was structured according to the technical work packages, aggregated by the synopsis of all work packages to bridge the networks and the work done in the past 2.5 years. We discussed a clear roadmap in terms of deliveries, task conclusions, challenges and risks for the next months until the project end. The meeting showed, that the results of collaboration within the PrECISE project are encouraging so far.



The Advisory Board members joined us on day 2: 

  • Markus Christen, UZH Digital Society Initiative & Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
  • Diego Di Bernardo, University of Naples and TIGEM
  • Silke Gillessen, Kantonsspital St. Gallen - Klinik für Med. Onkologie und Hämatologie
  • Hans Lehrach, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
  • Mark Rubin, University of Bern Biomedical Research Department

The discussions were fruitful for the future of the project. In particular, the Q&A session was significant in terms of new perspectives. Overall, the methods developed were positively assessed by the Advisory Board and evaluated as “cutting edge” in cancer research. The PrECISE Consortium has demonstrated to work well and the collaboration between the partners is efficient, and the integration between inputs and factors from different disciplines and tasks goes on.

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On Friday, 21st July 2017, the PrECISE technical and General Assembly (GA) meeting took place in Prague, Czech Republic.


The GA meeting was mainly dedicated to the ongoing periodic reporting session. The technical meeting focused on the ongoing research work of the single work packages, the upcoming challenges and the ongoing discussions between interacting partners. The discussion in WP1 and WP2 mainly focused on methods for predicting clonal compositions and evaluated them on synthetic data and on HCC profiles. The focus of the WP3 presentations was on prostatic cell line perturbation experiment time-course data processing and network reconstruction algorithms. WP4 is currently dealing with automatic reconstruction of molecular networks from publications, databases and datasets. In WP5 the focus lies on the integration of patient molecular data into the logical models - drug target prediction is one of the upcoming challenges. WP6 is currently selecting and preparing patient samples for molecular profiling. WP7 is working on the visualization of pathways and the data input interface. One of the upcoming challenges in general is taking into account a large number of factors and inputs from a variety of disciplines and tasks and integrate them in respect of the overall PrECISE goals. The meeting was great success and a lot of upcoming action points were defined.



The meeting was co-located with the 25th Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the 16th European Conference on Computational Biology (ISMB/ECCB 2017). The PrECISE consortium was heavily involved in the poster sessions:

  • Session A-234: DeepGRN: Deciphering gene deregulation in cancer development using deep learning (IBM)
  • Session A-319: Inferring network statistics from high-dimensional time-course data (TUDA)
  • Session A-323: Fast biological network reconstruction from high-dimensional time-course perturbation data using sparse multivariate Gaussian processes (TUDA)
  • Session A-357: Conceptual and computational framework for logical modelling of biological networks deregulated in diseases (CI)
  • Session A-364: Pan-cancer classification of gene signatures for their information value and functional redundancy (CI)
  • Session B-276: Selection of stable biomarker signature for prediction of metabolic phenotypes (ETH, IBM)
  • Session B-330: A computational framework for systems pathology of prostate cancer (UZH, ETH, IBM)
  • Session B-384: Inferring clonal composition from multiple tumor biopsies (BCM, ETH, IBM, UZH)

The consortium is currently planning a technical meeting involving also the ADVISORY BOARD members. This meeting is planned to be held in autumn 2017.

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From 8th – 10th December the 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics Conference took place in Aspen. At this conference members of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) meet and exchange their know-how and expertise. IBM gave a talk concerning the “Stratification of prostate cancer patients based on molecular interaction profiles” at the Rocky Conference.

Furthermore an interview with IBM on artificial intelligence was published on 2nd December 2016 in the Swiss French Newspaper L’Hebdo. For our French speaking followers, the transcript can be found here.

Members of the PrECISE consortium are currently working on submissions for the ISMB/ECCB Conference taking place from 21st until 25th July in Prague, Czech Republic. The team will also meet internally on the first day to discuss PrECISE related questions and challenges and the way forward.

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It's Movember again.


The moustache and November join up together each year to raise awareness of cancer. The Movember Foundation challenge men to change their appearance - and the face of men’s health - by growing a moustache.

Rules? Start on the 1st November clean-shaven and then grow your mo during the entire month turning it into the ribbon for men’s health.

Women? The Mo challenge is whatever you make it. Run a race. Learn to rock climb. Work out in costume. Try something new and raise funds for men's health.

Others? This Movember, get together to raise funds, make some noise and stop men dying too young.



For more information visit:

Partners of the PrECISE consortium already teamed up: COMBember



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IBM's Watson is a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer. Watson can understand questions posed in natural language, searches for the appropriate terms in extensive text files, analyzes and evaluates by statistical means and finally gives the most probable answer.

It is also about the right answer when it comes to the treatment of cancer. The related questions are: Is the tumour benign or malignant? How does cancer progress? What is the effect of a certain drug?

Computer scientists from IBM are convinced that the answers can be found in the growing amount of medical diagnostic data. Cancer is of such complexity, that the recognition of typical patterns is possible only with the help of artifical intelligence.

Watch the video for more information. The clip (timeframe: 06:15 - 10:20) features the PrECISE partners Peter Wild from University of Zurich and Maria Rodriguez Martinez from IBM.

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On 5th September, 2016 RAI3 Italy ran a 45 minutes news show about robots and computer intelligence. The segment included many examples from the IT industry including Amazon's robotic warehouses, Google's and Tesla's self driving cars, a helpdesk tool from Accenture and IBM Watson.

A sequence was dedicated to IBM with several interviews including partner Dr. Peter Wild from the Hospital of Zurich, talking about the benefits of integrating Watson in making life-saving diagnosis: "Watson can analyse all of these prostate cancer samples and compare this with existing published data to determine the right course of treatment for the individual patient. It's impossible for me to do all of this as quickly."

Lately, IBM’s cognitive computer Watson successfully diagnosed a woman with a rare form of leukemia which doctors had not detected - see the article here. In the PrECISE project, the Watson cognitiv copmputer is used to mine literature and to analyze incoming data using the developed models and methods in the work packages 4 to 6. 


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The following video clip shows Heinz Köppel, professor of Bioinspired Communication Systems at Technical University Darmstadt, in an interview at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology: Nature's communication is extremely complex, but very efficient - however, it has been subject to little research compared to technical communication solutions. In 2013, TU Darmstadt established the first chair of Bioinspired Communication Systems in Germany.

Moreover, Maria Rodriguez-Martinez of IBM and Peter Wild of University of Zurich bring in their expertise about cancer research and about the fact how big data brings medicine to new dimensions in THIS clip.


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The first technical meeting of the PrECISE project took place on 11th - 12th July 2016 in Villach, AUSTRIA.

On 11th - 12th July 2016, TECHNIKON hosted the PrECISE technical meeting in Villach, Austria. We had a lot of technical discussions ranging from the inference of clonal populations, deep learning techniques and modelling to the production of genomic and proteomic data. The main goal of this meeting was to keep the consortium updated about the ongoing activities of each partner and to foster the collaboration within different research teams. Moreover, we focused on our way forward and planned the upcoming tasks properly. The upcoming months are characterized by loads of exiting research work that will result in promising publications and impact several deliverables.

PrECISE Technical Meeting  Precise Technical Meeting

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The H2020 PrECISE project has successfully been kicked-off.

Representatives of 9 different partners from 6 different countries participated in the kick-off meeting which took place from 21st - 22nd January at IBM in Zurich. Lots of discussions regarding the future work were going on and plans for the next steps have been made.

For further project information, please have a look at the announcement letter.

Technical Meeting


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On 1st January 2016, the Pan-European and American cooperative H2020research project – PrECISE – has successfully started. The kick-off meeting will be hosted by the technical leader IBM in Zurich/Switzerland from 21st – 22nd January 2016. PrECISE aims to improve the detection and treatment process of prostate cancer by developing new computational approaches to exploit next generation molecular data. The proposed software framework will be accessible through a graphical interface that will facilitate its dissemination and use by researchers, clinicians and biomedical industries.


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