Why Domain Knowledge is Crucial for Machine Learning-based Medical Image Analysis

Lena Maier-Hein, DKFZ

April 22, 2021


The breakthrough successes of deep learning-based solutions in various fields of research and practice have attracted a growing number of researchers to work in the field of medical image analysis. However, due to the increasing number of publicly available data sets, domain knowledge and/or close collaboration with domain experts is no longer an essential prerequisite. To demonstrate the potentially severe consequences of this recent development, this talk will highlight the importance of domain knowledge for various steps within the development process: from the selection of training/test data in the presence of possible confounders, to the choice of appropriate validation metrics and the interpretation of algorithm results.


Lena Maier-Hein received a Diploma (2005) and PhD degree (2009) with distinction from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and conducted her postdoctoral at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and at the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery at Imperial College London. During her time as junior group leader at the DKFZ (2011-2016), she finished her Habilitation (2013) at the University of Heidelberg. As DKFZ division head she is now working in the field of biomedical image analysis with a specific focus on surgical data science, computational biophotonics and validation of machine learning algorithms. Lena Maier-Hein is fellow of the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) society and of the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS) and has been distinguished with several science awards including the 2013 Heinz Maier Leibnitz Award of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the 2017/18 Berlin-Brandenburg Academy Prize. She has received a European Research Council (ERC) starting grant (2015-2020) and consolidator grant (2021-2026).

Event Info

The event will take place on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:00pm . It will be a joint event with Freiburg AI and will take place online. You can join the live stream at this URL! Kindly help us plan ahead by registering for the event on our meetup page.