Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2024

Ariel D. Stern

Germany has a highly efficient health service but is not in the international vanguard according to health system research. Ariel Dora Stern, one of the few researchers with a global reputation in the field, is now invited to Potsdam to drive this highly relevant and promising field of research, which has been underrepresented in Germany to date.

  • Nominating University: University of Potsdam
Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild


Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

Health economics

The German health service is experiencing upheaval. Conversations are being held about economisation, digitisation, structural reform, new legal frameworks – all of which mean medicine, health policy and economics must pull together if the topic is to be addressed in sustainability terms. Progress in medical technology brings huge benefits for patients but also poses major challenges for health economics and policy. How, for example, must legislation change to promote the development of new drugs, or how must it regulate digitisation in the health service? How can a social balance be achieved between the benefits and costs of personalised medicine?

Ariel D. Stern is one of the few researchers with a global reputation in her interdisciplinary research field at the crossroads of medicine, economics, health policy, statistics and health care management, publishing in scientific journals in all these areas. She innovatively harnesses new research fields by applying methods taken from statistics, data science and econometrics to fields in which little research has been done so far. And she puts academic research into practice, not only by delivering the theoretical foundations and deriving concomitant recommendations for action but also by bringing stakeholders together. Moreover, she has already gained considerable experience in policy advice. She has drawn up policy papers on both sides of the Atlantic and is spearheading the social dialogue on how, for example, AI methods can be transferred to the healthcare sector.

In the Faculty of Digital Engineering, operated jointly by the University of Potsdam and the Hasso Plattner Institute, Ariel D. Stern is invited to become a Humboldt Professor, assuming the chair in Digital Health. She is supposed to close the gap between fundamental theoretical research and applied research and strengthen the faculty in the digital health sector by means of interdisciplinary networking, technology transfer and her international connections. Under her leadership a unique Europe-wide centre is set to be created, the Center for Interdisciplinary Science for Digital Technology in Health (CIDTH) – a thinktank designed to attract and train junior researchers and to lead social discourse. In addition, Potsdam hopes Stern’s presence will provide impetus for the start-up scene in AI and machine learning in the health sector.

Brief bio

Having read economics, Ariel Dora Stern completed her doctorate at Harvard University, Cambridge, United States, where she initially became an assistant professor in 2014. In 2019, she was appointed associate professor at Harvard Business School. In 2021-2022, she was a visiting scholar at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam; in 2020 she was a finalist in the American National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation’s Health Care Research Awards. She is a member of international, American and German societies of health economists as well as of digital medicine.

Photos and videos