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Bernd Fischer

Bernd Fischer, former postdoctoral fellow and research scientist, passed away on 22 February 2017 aged 40.

It is with great sadness that the EMBL community has learned of the death of Bernd Fischer, a former postdoc and research scientist, who passed away on 22 February 2017 at the age of 40.

Bernd did his PhD at ETH Zurich on the intersections of machine learning, computer vision and proteomics. He made original contributions to unsupervised classification (also known as clustering) and quickly became a world-class expert in these fields.

Bernd worked in Wolfgang Huber’s group first at EMBL-EBI, then in EMBL’s Genome Biology unit from 2008 to 2014. At EMBL, he set his interest on analysis methods for novel high-throughput data types and established himself as a crucial partner in many interdisciplinary collaborations. He published an outstanding body of work in genetic interaction networks, imaging-based cellular phenotyping, the RNA interactome and in mass spectrometry proteomics.

In 2014, he obtained a competitive Helmholtz Young Investigator award and set up his independent research group at DKFZ. He maintained tight collaborative links with many EMBL scientists and alumni, who benefitted from Bernd’s exceptional expertise and appreciated his warm collegiality.

Bernd, always modest and unassuming, never ceased to impress us with the depth of his expertise. He was a kind and gentle person, and a wonderful colleague.

We sorely miss him.

 by Wolfgang Huber, Michael Boutros, Alfredo Castello Palomares, Anne Ephrussi, Eileen Furlong, Matthias Hentze, Jeroen Krijgsveld, Lars Steinmetz and Nassos Typas