Maximilian Hillemanns


Research Projects


Finding groups of airway tree structures in CT images


iRhythmics: Programming pacemaker cells for in vitro drug testing

The project addresses the generation and establishment of programmed pacemaker cells for an in vitro drug testing possibility to perform predictive tests. This may lead to an improved treatment of cardiac arrhythmias or an accurate identification of potential drug molecules at an early stage of development. Important benefits will arise in verifying the safety of a wide variety of medicines while reducing animal testing.


de.STAIR: Structured Analysis and Integration of RNA-Seq Experiments

RNA Sequencing (RNA-Seq) has become a widely used tool to study quantitative and qualitative aspects of the transcriptome. The variety of RNA-Seq protocols, experimental study designs and the characteristic properties of the organisms under investigation greatly affect downstream and comparative analyses. We provide easy access to comprehensive analysis of RNA-Seq experiments as a service. To do so, we leverage on the Galaxy framework, and organise dedicated workshops, training programs, and screencasts to make Life Scientists familiar with computational approaches to biological problems.


Selected publications

Comparison of Deep Learning Approaches for Cardiomyocyte Evaluation

Maximilian Hillemanns


Arrhythmias are severe cardiac diseases and lethal if untreated. To serve as an in vitro drug testing option for anti-arrhythmic agents, cardiomyocytes and especially pacemaker cells are being generated in vitro from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These generated cardiomyocytes resemble fetal cardiac tissue rather than adult cardiomyocytes. An automated tool for evaluations of cardiomyocytes would help the establishment of new generation protocols. In this work, a novel approach for this task is presented and evaluated.
Different convolutional neural networks (CNNs) including transfer models and native 2D and 3D models were trained on fluorescence images of cardiomyocytes, which were rated based on their sarcomerisation and the orientation of sarcomeres (directionality) beforehand. The CNNs were trained to perform classifications on sarcomerisation and directionality ratings and cell source, as cardiomyocytes from five different sources were used in this work. In this thesis, it could be shown that cellular fluorescence images can be analysed with CNNs. This  classifier can be used to make trustworthy predictions on the quality of a cardiomyocyte which will hopefully benefit the generation of cardiomyocytes from iPSCs. This classifier is currently being

Education and Work Experience

2020 -

Research Assistant

Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, Universität Rostock, Germany

2017 - 2020

M. Sc.

Medical Engineering Sciences, University of Lübeck, Germany

2013 - 2017

B. Sc.

Medical Engineering Sciences, University of Lübeck, Germany