Gunnar Klau Extraordinary Professor at VU University Amsterdam
As of 1 July 2012, Gunnar Klau is instated as Extraordinary Professor of Bioinformatics and Operations Research at VU University Amsterdam. The appointment is shared between the Faculty of Sciences (Bioinformatics) and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Operations Research).
Prof. dr. ing. Gunnar W. Klau is group leader at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), since 2008. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Saarland University in 2001, and his habilitation from Freie Universität Berlin in 2009.Throughout his career, Dr. Klau has devised problem solving algorithms, using advanced techniques from Operations Research, often in combination with other areas from applied mathematics, thus making fundamental contributions to the area of bioinformatics.
Regarding the synergy to be built between the two host faculties, Dr. Klau says: “My vision is that new methods of applied mathematics and Operations Research will play an equally important role for the life sciences and the future of medicine as they already do for engineering and economics”. Operations Research has been defined as “the effective use of scarce resources under dynamic and uncertain conditions” and as such as “pretty much the problem of living”. This analogy explains why methods that help companies make difficult decisions are likewise useful in solving—or at least understanding—problems cells face in their respective environment. Dr. Klau’s long term research goal is to fundamentally impact biology and medicine by making them more quantitative and formal sciences. For his areas of expertise, combinatorial optimization and algorithm design and engineering, he sees a particularly large potential to contribute to this challenge.