Sonja Aits

Sonja Aits

Sonja Aits is a cancer cell biologist, specialized in cell death and lysosomes, who has during recent years focused on the development and application of machine learning tools for medical research. She obtained a PhD in Biomedicine from Lund University in 2010 and then worked 6 years as Postdoc in the group of Marja Jäättelä at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen. After that, she spent 1.5 years as Visiting Senior Scientist in the group of Ricky Johnstone at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, where she conducted a large genome-wide high-content microscopy screen. In 2018, she returned to Lund University as head of the “Cell Death, Lysosomes and Artificial Intelligence ” group at the Department of Experimental Medical Science. Her group develops deep learning tools for the analysis of medical data, primarily computer vision and natural language processing models, and combines them with “classical” bioinformatics approaches to elucidate lysosome- and cell death-related signaling networks and their disruption by diseases and environmental toxins. Her group has also part of the SciLifeLab/KAW National COVID-19 Research Program, developing tools for text mining of electronic health records and medical literature and for lung histology analysis. Besides her research, Sonja is one of the coordinators of AI Lund (, which organizes a wide range of AI-related activities for its over 2000 academic, industry and public sector employees, and study director of Lund University’s COMPUTE research school ( She has also developed a range of successful PhD courses within “AI for Medicine and Life Science” and is very engaged in public outreach.

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