© 2017-2024 Virginie Uhlmann (website design and its content)

Director of the BioVisionCenter, Zurich, Switzerland, and Visiting Group Leader at EMBL-EBI, Cambridge, UK

I am an engineer fond of microscopy images who fell in love with computer vision. I hold a MSc in Bioengineering and a PhD in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on spline and approximation theory for image analysis.

I firmly believe that the best kind of science stems from open and collaborative interdisciplinary communities. As such, one of the things I like the most is to nurture community initiatives. This involves advocating for the community's collective interests and contributing to the acquisition and developments of resources that empower every member involved. In February 2024, I took on the leadership of the BioVisionCenter, a newly-created structure co-founded by the Friedrich Miescher Institute and the University of Zurich, which primary objective is to facilitate the analysis of large-scale bioimage datasets. The first initiative of the BioVisionCenter is the expansion of the fully open-source Fractal project into a multi-purpose computational infrastructure for the user-friendly design and management of bioimage analysis workflows. One of my ambitions is to develop the BioVisionCenter into a catalytic facilitator that nurtures collaborations and empowers the many groups developing bioimage analysis methods and tools across the world, while consciously avoiding to impose leadership or overshadow individual efforts in the international landscape.

I am also leading a bioimage quantification research group at EMBL-EBI in Cambridge, UK. There, my research work focuses on the development of aproaches to quantify, describe, and model biological objects observed in microscopy bioimages. My research interests are a mix of computational geometry, statistical shape analysis, machine learning, and biology. We are interdisciplinary: we do theoretical research on geometrical modelling, we implement algorithms to extract morphology-related information from images, and we use all of this to understand living systems in the context of collaborative projects with experimentalists.

In the past, I contributed to the creation and development of the Theory Transversal Theme at EMBL, an organization-wide effort to establish a new research programme promoting theory-guided paths to biological discovery that I was co-chairing until January 2024 and that is still very dear to my heart.

Being a first-generation and female scientist, I deeply care about doing my part in turning academia tino a more welcoming and inclusive environment. Towards this goal, I engage in public events in which I tell about some science that I find exciting or being a human in the scientific world. I am also a mathematics and science ambassador in elementary schools in Switzerland.

As much as I enjoy science, I need a good chunk of climbing and birds in my life to be my best self.

Please note that this is my personal website and is not related to the institution I currently work in. As I enjoy the analog life more than the digital one, the content of this website is likely not entirely up to date.

I am grateful to the Stack Overflow user community for their precious advice and help in designing this webpage.