Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | This Week's Discoveries

AI helps us find aminoacids in space

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Using AI to trace the building blocks of life

My team and I are using a novel combination of statistical and neural networks techniques to determine the most likely reactions that lead to simple aminoacids, such as glycine, in space. We find that such techniques are incredibly powerful in highlighting the key important chemical reactions that lead to the building blocks of life in the stellar nurseries of the interstellar medium. Our research may have important implications in determining how complex chemistry can get in space.


Viti gained her PhD at University College London (UCL) for her work on the infrared spectra of cool stars and sunspots in 1997. After this, Viti became a post-doctoral fellow at UCL in the field of star formation and astrochemistry, followed by a fixed-term position at the CNR in Rome as a Herschel Scientist. She returned to UCL in October 2003 for an STFC Advanced Fellowship and became a lecturer of Astrophysics in 2004. She was promoted Professor of Astrophysics in 2012 and became head of the Astrophysics Group in 2016. In 2019, Viti received an ERC Advanced Grant. Besides research, Viti is also active in education and outreach. She for example led the ‘Stars ‘R’ Us exposition at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, co-authored a book an observational molecular astronomy and was a guest at multiple BBC programs.

Join This Week's Discoveries!

On the morning of the presentation, the Zoom meeting ID and pass code will be distributed by e-mail to all Faculty of Science staff. If you are not a staff member, please sign-up for the mailing list to get access.

Sign up

About This Week's Discoveries

Every week an inspiring research project
Prestigious grants, cum laude PhDs, new chairs: each week This Week's Discoveries revolves around one research project. In a short comprehensible presentation the research will be explained and there is room for questions and discussion.

This Week's Discoveries will take place weekly on Tuesdays from 12.30 to 13.00 in Zoom.

This website uses cookies.  More information.