Virtual Physiological Human Institute for Integrative Biomedical Research (VPH), Belgium

Description of organisationvphi

The Virtual Physiological Human Institute for Integrative Biomedical Research (VPH Institute) is an international not for profit organisation incorporated in Belgium in 2011, whose mission is to ensure that the Virtual Physiological Human is fully realised, universally adopted and effectively used both in research and the clinic. In particular, the VPH Institute will work in close contact with all the relevant stakeholders to make sure that the necessary investments in research and technological development, in training and in clinical assessment are made to make this revolution possible. To date the Institute represents over 67 public and private institutions active in VPH research, including many academic, clinical and industrial key players in the area of in silico medicine.


Previous experience

The VPH Institute is relatively young organisation, but its member institutions and its executives has a considerable track record in European funded ICT research projects, including large integrated projects like EU Heart, VPHOP, VPH Share, P Medicine, Health e Child, etc. and coordination, support and networking actions including STEP, ARGOS, VPH NoE, DISCIPULUS, VPH FET, etc.


Profile of staff members

Marco Viceconti is a member of the Board of Directors of the VPH Institute as representative of the supporting member University of Sheffield; currently he serve as Executive Director for the institute. Prof. Viceconti is affiliated to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield where he is full Professor of Biomechanics. He is also the Scientific Director of the INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine recently formed by the university of Sheffield and by the Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. His main research interests are related to the development and validation of medical technology, especially that involving simulation. He has published one book on the multiscale modelling of the skeleton, over 200 papers indexed in Medline, and serves as reviewer for many international funding agencies and peer reviewed journals. Marco Viceconti is one of the key figures in the emerging Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) community. Co author of the first white paper on VPH, scientific co ordinator of the seminal VPH research roadmap, "VPH ambassador" for the VPH Network of Excellence, he is also Co ordinator of the VPHOP integrated project.

Martina Contin has a master degree in Communication Science from the University of Padua with a major in Enterprise Communication. She is currently the Manager of the VPH Institute; she is primarily responsible for communication and engagement activities toward the member institutions, the institutional stakeholders, the industry, and the public at large. Since 2008 she has worked in the role of Consortium and Dissemination Manager for EC funded projects, including the VPHOP integrated project, and she has been involved in the communication side of other initiatives, such as the DISCIPULUS support action. She is also served as Manager for the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES).




Five recent publications relevant to the project

Viceconti, M., Taddei, F., Cristofolini, L., Martelli, S., Falcinelli, C., Schileo, E., 2012. Are spontaneous fractures possible? An example of clinical application for personalised, multiscale neuro musculo skeletal modelling. J Biomech 45(3), 421-426.


Viceconti, M., McCulloch, A. D., 2011. Policy needs and options for a common approach towards modelling and simulation of human physiology and diseases with a focus on the Virtual Physiological Human. Stud Health Technol Inform 170, 49 82.


Viceconti, M., 2011. A tentative taxonomy for predictive models in relation to their falsifiability. Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci 369(1954), 4149 61.


Viceconti, M., Kohl, P., 2010. The virtual physiological human: computer simulation for integrative biomedicine I. Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci 368(1920), 2591 4.


Viceconti, M., Clapworthy, G., Van Sint Jan, S., 2008. The Virtual Physiological Human–A European Initiative for In silico Human Modelling. J Physiol Sci, Dec;58(7):441 6.