Prof. Karsten Borgwardt is “Top 40 under 40”
By: Isabelle Fol
The business journal Capital ranks Karsten Borgwardt as one of the “Top 40 under 40” in the category “State and Society”. Every year the journal publishes a “Top 40 under 40” ranking within different categories – the main goal is to identify Germans younger than 40 with high potential.
Three times in a row “Top 40 under 40” – what does this honour mean to you?
KB: It is special for me as a scientist to receive recognition from outside Academia. It demonstrates that the research we do in my lab addresses questions that are of importance to society at large.
The business journal Capital has ranked you among the “Top 40 under 40” in 2014 as well as in 2015 – what was your reaction when hearing that in 2016 again?
KB: I am excited to be included in the ranking for the third time since 2014. For me, this shows that the topics my lab works on, Data Science, Machine Learning and Precision Medicine, are constantly gaining importance in society, and that we continue to leave our mark on these important fields.
Capital comments on the “Top 40 under 40”: “Es geht nicht immer nur nach oben, sondern auch mal im Rösselsprung ganz woanders hin. Denn wenn die eigene Branche umgewälzt wird, gilt das auch für den Werdegang. Der Wandel, die Brüche, der ganze Schwall rauscht durch die Lebensläufe.” Do you agree when looking at your own career path – what does mobility and change mean to you?
KB: In Academia, the career path varies less than in other domains, but it requires a lot of mobility. Taking myself as an example: I have lived and worked in five different countries as a scientist. “Mobility and change” are truly key aspects of any scientific career. In addition, research itself is a very dynamic endeavor. A researcher has to stay up to date with the current developments, findings and changes in his or her field. “Change” is therefore a key component of high-quality research.
What do you aim to achieve with your research work, what are your prospective goals?
KB: My goal is to develop algorithms that help to discover new knowledge in the vast biological and medical databases that are now being generated. This knowledge may help to explore the genetic basis of hereditary traits or to improve clinical treatments.
In the “Top 40 under 40” meeting in Berlin you have met outstanding personalities honoured by Capital - did this event leave a lasting impression?
KB: It was exciting to meet experts from all branches of society, from industry to politics, and to discuss current topics of general importance. For example, how the developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning will affect the job market at large - a topic that is very close to my research domain. The “Top 40 under 40” meeting was a great opportunity to exchange opinions and ideas on this challenge with other young decision-makers.