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Successful doctorate of Leonie Selbach

We congratulate Dr. Leonie Selbach on the successful defense of her dissertation “Constrained Decomposition Algorithms – Analysis and Application in Tissue Microdissection”. The doctoral thesis was carried out in a cooperation of the Chair of Theoretical Computer Science of the Faculty of Computer Science, the Bioinformatics Working Group of the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology and the Center for Protein Diagnostics (ProDi). Selbach was supervised by Prof. Maike Buchin (Faculty of Computer Science) and Prof. Axel Mosig (Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology). The disputation took place on September 28, 2022.

Three quick questions for the newly graduated doctor:

In simple terms, what did you explore in your work?

On the theoretical side, I investigated how hard/easy/fast various dissection problems can be solved under certain constraints. On the practical side, the goal was to dissect cancerous areas in tissue thin sections into suitable fragments, which can then be successfully excised by laser microdissection. The aim was to develop an automated method with which the largest possible sample quantity can be collected for subsequent protein analyses and as little sample material as possible is lost.

How did you come up with your topic?

The project was a continuation of my master thesis. The original topic was suggested by Prof. Mosig from Bioinformatics, who wanted to have a well-founded algorithmic solution for the concrete application problem at ProDi. Since I studied mathematics with a focus on computer science and a minor in biology, the topic was a perfect fit for me.

What would be the next steps to advance research in this area?

Next, it would be important to integrate the developed dissection method into the standard microdissection workflow and perform more extensive studies on tissue samples.