The unique EU-funded transatlantic cooperation project NeuroMusculoSkeletal (NMS) Physiome recently had its official kick-off on January 27th, 2010. It is a Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) internationalisation activity between the European integrated project VPHOP, in which empirica is project partner, as well as the Stanford University Center for Physics-Based Simulation of Biological Structures (SIMBIOS).
VPHOP (Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human) and SIMBIOS are two of the largest research projects worldwide developing technology for personalised, predictive, and integrative musculo-skeletal medicine. They target the same strategic objective and develop highly complementary technologies. Their collaboration creates a compelling opportunity to increase the international impact of VPHOP’s work, and to foster global cooperation on one of the grand challenges of biomedical research.
VPHOP, undertaken by a consortium of 19 partner institutions led by the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, Italy, is developing the next generation of health technologies to fight osteoporosis. As part of this endeavour, the personalised modelling of the patient’s neuro-musculoskeletal system is essential. It is an Integrated Project supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Research Programme (FP7).
The Stanford Center for Physics-based Simulation of Biological Structures (SIMBIOS) provides infrastructure, software, and training to help biomedical researchers understand biological form and function as they create novel drugs, synthetic tissues, medical devices, and surgical interventions. The cluster of projects connected to the SIMBIOS Center is investigating a wide scale of biological structures – from molecules to organisms. In particular, the team of one of the two Principal Investigators of SIMBIOS, Scott Delp, based at Stanford University, focuses on the accurate modelling of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. Activities are funded by the USA National Institute of Health.
empirica is proud to be a partner in this project, together with the BioComputing Competence Centre (B3C) of SCS srl in Bologna, Italy, and the Centre for Computer Graphics & Visualisation (CCGV) at the University of Bedfordshire.
empirica is strongly engaged in pushing progress beyond the state-of-the-art with its achievements in the medical technology assessment arena, where outcomes of the VPHOP project will be expanded upon and further developed together with USA partners. In integrative biomedical research, methods assessing the clinical or even socio-economic impacts of predictive and multiscale modelling have rarely, if ever, been applied. empirica’s activities will target both European and United States research communities and encompass collaborative research, learning and also training workshops.