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Virtual Physiological Human Conference 2014
VPH2014 was hosted by the Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and arranged at Clarion Hotel in Trondheim, Norway, September 9-12.
This biannual conference series grew out of the successful FP7 Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence. It has become one of the major instruments for maintaining the coherence and momentum of the highly multidisciplinary VPH community.
The VPH mission is driven by the conviction that if we are to succeed in developing a real predictive, preventive and participatory medicine envisioned by so many, there is no substitute for building much stronger transdisciplinary ties between the life sciences, the mathematical sciences and engineering throughout the whole spectrum of basic, translational and applied research. The efforts of the VPH community were particularly esteemed by the European Parliament in January 2014 when it urged the Commission and the Member States to continue to support innovative solutions for person-centred care.
The conference programme contained four plenary sessions, 2x5 parallel workshops, ePoster presentations, and two hands on demonstrations of VPH-compliant software. In addition there were two satellite symposia, one on Knowledge management and the future of our societies, and one on Model-guided phenomics – a new concept for biobanks and population studies. See the press release following the latter symposium.
The plenary themes for VPH2014 highlighted that
- the establishment of a digital representation of the individual is key to realising a real personalized medicine,
- a quantitative understanding of the physiology of the ageing individual is mission critical for understanding, preventing and treating complex disease,
- model repositories, standards and efficient data integration technologies are major pillars for the VPH mission as such, and
- the integration of genomic information with multiscale computational physiology provides the foundation for bridging the genotype-to-phenotype gap.
The 2x5 parallel late afternoon workshop sessions covered broad aspects of in silico medicine, and they were deliberately structured to facilitate the identification of what are the major challenges preventing rapid progress in various areas. Each workshop ended with a Discussion session seeking to identify the major challenges preventing rapid progress in the focal area. Workshops and summaries of discussions.
The ePoster presentations covered a broad set of topics. By allowing animations and video presentations, the ePoster concept showed its superiority over normal poster presentations in terms of getting complex messages through.