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Anton Safer

  • Dr. rer. biol. hum. & Dipl.-Ing. agr.
  • MHH Medizinische Hochschule Hannover - Hannover Medical School
  • 3h-indexImpact measure calculated using publication and citation counts. Updated daily.
  • 29CitationsNumber of citations received by Anton's publications. Updated daily.

Other IDs

Research interests

preclinical models in cardiovascular drug safetybiostatisticsBiosignal processingEEGECGProarrhythmia risk assessmentDrug safety

About

Born in Vienna 1947, the first 18 years of life happened in Austria. Having completed high school 1965, I decided to spend some 5 months in Italy; learned Italian language fairly well, but decided to go to Germany to study agricultural engineering. University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim was a perfect fit for me. As an offspring from poor parents, I had to earn a great deal of my budget myself. Computer operating and programming gave me an excellent opportunity to earn the money needed. Without delay I completed with an engineering grade late 1969. Two years as a reserch assistant (and lecturer) at Stuttgart-Hohenheim University were followed by almost 2 years in the computer center of SEL Stuttgart. Pure IT is something instrumental, but can be rather boring. Following an advice from a professor to join pharmaceutical industry with all my background in genetics, physiology, statistics and IT, I found a job as a biostatistician, working for the Knoll AG in Ludwigshafen/Rhine. For more than seven years I helped to design and evaluate clinical studies, pioneering for wonderful and successful drugs like Verapamile and Propafenone. Stimulated and fascinated by the challenge of medical research and drug development, I decided to improve my knowledge in medicine systematically (at least the theoretical one). There was an opportunity to become an "external" student of "human biology" at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) in 1984. After many years of hard work, still acting as a senior biostatistician for preclinical research and drug development at Knoll AG, I finally graduated as a doctor in theoretical medicine at the MHH September 1991 with a "summa c***laude" examen. Focus of my thesis was on kidney transplantation, investigating how tissue compatibility and genetic factors influence the kidney and patient survival. In 1996 I got the chance to act as a project leader for a collaboration project with Max-Planck-Institute in Garching and with Cardiology of Munich´s "Clinic Right of Isar". Goal was to create a biomarker for risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). The topic "Nonlinear Dynamics in Cardiology" was motivated by a nonlinear algorithm SIM (Scaled Index Method) that was a spinoff from space and astronomy research. This algorithm allows to characterize arrhythmias by a multidimensional space and transform data from Holter ECGs to a scaling index, which could be shown to be a fairly good biomarker for life-threatening arrhythmias. We had to work through thousands of Holter ECGs from clinical studies, and were dissatisfied with the inflexibility and inaccuracy of the existing biosignal processing software. This proved a strong motivator to develop a modular and flexible software solution. My companion Werner Bystricky, a biologist and techno-mathematician proved to be an excellent C++-programmer. We analyzed the needs, and found new solutions in biosignal software design. This was the start for our first 2 attempts to create our proprietary program called "KLUBIOS" in 1999. SIM algorithm was just a minor part of KLUBIOS. We found more and more features needed, and eventually evaluated a couple of clinical studies, predominantly for arrhythmias, SCD risk assessment and QT duration, a known (weak performance) biomarker for drug related pro-arrhythmia. Meanwhile, the biggest chunk of my work has been dedicated to KLUBIOS, and we extended the evaluations to rat, dog and piglet telemetry experiments. In March 2001, Knoll (formerly owned by BASF)has been sold to Abbott Inc., Chicago. All my attempts to survive the application seemed jeopardized, while we were working on the next generation of biosignal system. Finally, we called it "ABBIOS", ABbott BIOsignal System. Fortunately, I could convince the managemet in Chicago, not to stop and dump this project. Challenged by the upcoming ICH-E14 guideline, it was predictable that The task was now to prove that we could achieve equivalent results in comparison to external CROs specialized to evaluate ECGs. This worked fine, and the business promise was to save millions of $$$ by automating the evaluation, saving money by insourcing. 2005-6 we had budget and resources to develop the missing workflow component to evaluate ECGs from phase-1 studies, and to validate the eECH/ABBIOS systen. 2007 after having created the SOPs, and trained the staff, we started operating the system. Business and IT are plesed on the ease and reliability of the system, which has already payed for itself after just one year of operation. Having completed my tasks, I am persuing new ideas now. Acting as an independent consultant gives me the opportunity to serve a broader range of customers, but also to make my dreams come true. My biggest dream is to create a valid animal wedge model for reliably predicting risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

Groups

Co-authors (11)

  • Md Aminul HAQUE
  • Ursula Guerra
  • istianah kasmuji
  • izzat ahmad
  • Fra Min
  • chris ryan

Professional experience

International Manager Biosignal Processing & Biostatistics

Abbott GmbH&Co.KG

April 2001 - December 2007(7 years)

Resarch Project Leader "Nonlinear Dynamics in Cardiovascular Safety"

Knoll AG

May 1996 - March 2001(5 years)

Senior Biostatistician Preclinical Research & Development

Knoll AG

January 1981 - April 1996(15 years)

Biostatistician Clinical Development

Knoll AG

October 1973 - December 1980(7 years)

Manager for IT staff training

SEL AG (ITT Inc. subsidiary)

April 1972 - September 1973(a year)

Research Asisstant & Lecturer

University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim

April 1970 - March 1972(2 years)

Education

Dr. rer. biol. hum.

MHH Medizinische Hochschule Hannover - Hannover Medical School

September 1991 - Present