Helmholtz AI scientist Lara Urban has been selected by academics as the Young Scientist of the Year 2022. The academics Young Scientist Award, which is endowed with 5,000 €, honors young scientists who have made lasting advances in their respective scientific fields with pioneering research achievements and who also distinguish themselves through exemplary action and voluntary commitment to science.
Lara Urban’s research group, located at Helmholtz AI and the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus at Helmholtz Munich, focuses on applying molecular biology research and integrating statistical and computational methods to improve our understanding of Planetary Health. Since her research days in England and New Zealand, Urban has been using genomics and artificial intelligence to understand the interactions between the environment, biodiversity, and human health. For example, she is researching the diversity and distribution of bioaerosols, airborne particles of biological origin, to understand their impact on human health. The researcher aims to pave the way for mobile and rapid detection of pathogens in nature, and in this context to improve the monitoring of zoonotic disease emergence – for the ultimate protection of human and animal health as well as global biodiversity.
“With the topic of Planetary Health, Dr. Urban has worked on a particularly innovative, exciting research topic that is very easy to communicate to the general public,” the jury said of the award winner.
The official award ceremony of the academics Young Investigator Award will take place on April 3rd, 2023 at the “Gala of German Science” in Berlin.