Ideas that move us forward – FAU Innovators in 2022

Alexander German, PD Dr. Dr. Bettina Hohberger and Maike Kauffmann are the FAU Innovators 2022.
FAU Innovators 2022

Alexander German, PD Dr. Dr. Bettina Hohberger and Maike Kauffmann are the FAU Innovators 2022

Starting in 2020, the University has shone a spotlight each year at the Dies academicus on trailblazers and pioneers, people at FAU who drive the world forward and shape the future with their ideas and inventions. The FAU Innovator prize is awarded in three categories – Students, research and alumni.

Evaluating images with AI

Alexander German
Alexander German is FAU Innovator 2022 in the student category. (Image: Pfarr-Fotostudio/Erlangen)

Alexander German received the FAU Innovator prize in the student category. He proposed the principle of voxelomics. Voxels are spatial image elements that can be used to visualize the physical characteristics of tissue during radiological cross-sectional imaging. Although the spatial resolution is on the millimeter scale, voxelomics is capable of detecting the physical characteristics of fine tissue. The pioneering method uses machine learning to evaluate hundreds of contrast images. Voxelomics could improve the precision and effectiveness of diagnostics using imaging methods.

The battle against Long Covid

PD Dr. Dr. Bettina Hohberger is FAU Innovator 2022 in the research category. (Image: Franziska Männel/Universitätsklinikum Erlangen)

The FAU Innovator prize in the research category is awarded to PD Dr. Dr. Bettina Hohberger and the team led by Prof. Dr. Christian Mardin at the Department of Ophthalmology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. They discovered that a drug used to treat heart conditions could reduce or cure symptoms in post-COVID patients. The first successful trials were conducted in summer 2021. In March 2022, the project was granted research funding of 6.5 million euros by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. PD Dr. Dr. Bettina Hohberger will receive the award on behalf of the team for their significant contribution to fighting the pandemic.

Profits are no longer top priority

Maike Kauffmann
Maike Kauffmann is FAU Innovator 2022 in the alumni category. (Image: private)

Maike Kauffmann is FAU Innovator 2022 in the alumni category She is actively committed to promoting an independent and sustainable economy and her work at Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum is contributing to the transformation toward sustainability and greater social responsibility. Her research focuses on steward ownership. This is understood to mean that the owners of a company have voting and participation rights, but do not share in the profits and value of the company. This is to ensure that the company acts in a way that serves its purpose and stakeholder interests, rather than the profit motive of shareholders.

Sustainable development of our FAU: Dies academicus 2022

How FAU deals with the topic of sustainability and our strategy for sustainable development was the guiding theme of the Dies academicus 2022 on Friday, November 4, in the Heinrich-Lades-Halle in Erlangen. Participating in the discussion were climate expert Prof. Dr. Wolfang Kießling with Prof. Dr. Anuscheh Farahat, an expert in human rights and migration, Prof. Dr. Matthias Fifka, an economist and FAU Sustainability Officer, and Chancellor Christian Zens, who is responsible, among other things, for the campus buildings of the future. Further highlights of the evening included the FAU Innovators and a look back at the FAU Awards.

More information is available online: As in previous years, a recording of the Dies academicus will be published online after the event in the FAU video portal and broadcast by Franken Fernsehen.

More information