Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Artificial Intelligence 2022

Joacim Rocklöv

By introducing innovative mathematical and bioinformatics methods in modelling and quantifying the impacts of climate change on public health, Joacim Rocklöv is on course to give fresh impetus to climate change research at the University of Heidelberg.

  • Nominating University: Heidelberg University
Porträt von Joacim Rocklöv
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Epidemiology and Public Health

Is there a link between climate change and the spread of disease and, if so, what is it? Joacim Rocklöv informs this sometimes controversial discussion by delivering important data and analyses for modelling possible future scenarios – the essential basis for political decisions.

Investigating climate change and its impacts is one of the major challenges of our time. Joacim Rocklöv has a strong interdisciplinary focus in the fields of climate change, infection epidemiology and modelling. In the future, it should be possible to gauge the effects of the climate on health more efficiently; one goal is predictive models for early warning systems and better control of infectious diseases. Rocklöv’s results are based on an innovative combination of data from various disciplines around the world with methods derived from AI, data mining and statistics.

Heidelberg is now set to develop the first AI lab in Germany addressing issues relating to global infectious diseases and climate change. Rocklöv’s Humboldt Professorship will be established at the intersection of two institutes: the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) of the Medical Faculty in Heidelberg, which is headed by Humboldt Professor Till Bärnighausen, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR). Heidelberg University will thus enhance its existing leading position in method-supported global health research nationally and advance into the vanguard internationally. It should also become possible to forge the currently missing link to clinical infection research in Heidelberg.

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Joacim Rocklöv at Umeå University

Brief bio

Born in Sweden, Professor Dr Joacim Rocklöv has been a professor in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, where he was previously a senior lecturer and then an associate professor, since 2018. He completed his doctorate in 2010. In 2012, he received Umeå University’s Young Researcher Award and in 2019, he was awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco – Institut Pasteur Prize for his research on climate-related arbovirus epidemics. He is the associate editor of journals, advises international bodies on epidemiology and climate change, and was involved in a World Health Organisation early-warning system for tropical diseases.

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