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VPH Conference 2018

VPH Conference 2018

Posted 29/06/2018

The Virtual Phisiological Human conference 2018 is taking place in Zaragoza, 5-7 September, 2018.

One of the main challenges in the field of Computational Systems Biomedicine is to merge these fields together. The Physiome and Virtual Physiological Human aim to deliver computational modelling frameworks for integrating every level in human biology – one that links genes, proteins, cells and organs to the whole body. Ultimately, the goal of the VPH/Physiome Project is to piece together the complete virtual physiological human: a personalised, 3-D model of an individual’s unique physiological make-up. 

The VPH series of conferences offers a platform to present research related to the Physiome/VPH, and more broadly, to research into Computational Systems Biomedicine, as well as applications thereof in clinical settings, towards predictive personalised medicine. The conference contributes to better understanding of health and disease, and the healthy living and ageing.

Gordon Conference on Contemporary Advances and Challenges in Drug Safety Assessment

Posted 29/06/2018

The Gordon conference on Contemporary Advances and Challenges in Drug Safety Assessment is held on June 10 - 15, 2018.

Delivering safe and effective drugs remains a major challenge in biomedical science. To address this important challenge, the Drug Safety GRC program is designed to span safety science across the development pipeline from target selection and complex systems biology through the patient experience. 

The computational Cardiovascular Science team took this opportunity to present the latest research on in silico drug trials.

Can Computers Replace Humans in Biological Research?

Posted 23/05/2018

The adoption of big data, machine learning, and simulation software in biology and drug discovery have allowed for rapid progress in these fields. So far these technologies have aided discoveries, but can they eventually replace human effort and experiments? Prof. Blanca Rodriguez, Dr. Alina Rakhimova and Dr. Romain Talon will try to answer this question and evaluate the role of computers in the future of biology and medicine.

The talk is held at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Oxford on Wednesday the 23rd of May 2018.

CompBioMed & VHeart Joint Workshop

CompBioMed & VHeart Joint Workshop

Posted 27/03/2018

CompBioMed and the Spanish Network of Excellence, The Virtual Heart (VHeart) are holding a Joint Workshop that takes place on the 28th of March. This will involve a mix of speakers from VHeart and CompBioMed.

CompBioMed is a High Performance Centre of Research Excellence in Computational Biomedicine. This Centre of Excellence (CoE) aims at promoting the role of computationally based modelling and simulation in biomedicine. Three related user communities lie at the heart of the CoE: academic, industrial and clinical researchers who all wish to build, develop and extend such capabilities in line with the increasing power of high performance computers. Three distinct exemplar research areas will be pursued: cardiovascular, molecularly-based and neuro-musculoskeletal medicine. 

VHeart is a Spanish Network of Excellence aimed at sharing tools and software with members of the network to improve the overall knowledge and capacity to develop a personalised virtual heart. It is made of 9 universities and research centres throughout Spain.
The workshop is to bring together these two project and to share the combined knowledge of the participants in the fields of Cardiac modelling, fluid-solid interactions and biomedical flows.

Multiscale modelling in electrophysiology: from atoms to organs workshop.

Posted 26/03/2018

The Multiscale modelling in electrophysiology: from atoms to organs workshop is taking place on March 26, 2018 to March 28, 2018, at CECAM-Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland.

This workshop brings together chemists, physicists, engineers and biologists working in different aspects of ion channels with the aim of establishing links and foster collaboration between basic science researchers and those in bioengineering and medicine. Progress in this area will be realized with the availability of suitable computational techniques, and new developments will be covered.

The NC3Rs Cardiovascular Showcase event

The NC3Rs Cardiovascular Showcase event

Posted 21/03/2018

The NC3Rs Cardiovascular Showcase event, Friday 23 March, is held in London. This event shows the wide range of NC3Rs projects within cardiovascular science and brings together a diverse group of scientists working to advance the application of the 3Rs in cardiovascular research and safety assessment. This includes NC3Rs-funded researchers and industry experts participating in NC3Rs-led working groups to stimulate changes in policy and practice. 

Elisa Passini is giving a talk entitled "In silico human-based methodologies for evaluation of drug cardiac safety and efficacy" under the session "Showcasing NC3Rs funded research: 3Rs model development in cardiovascular sciences".

A paper demonstrating the power of in silico models wins the International NC3Rs prize.

A paper demonstrating the power of in silico models wins the International NC3Rs prize.

Posted 20/03/2018

The National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) – an organisation dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing – has awarded its top prize for a research paper by the Computational Cardiovascular Science team, at the University of Oxford.

The International 3Rs prize was awarded for research which developed original software that predicts the clinical risk of drug-induced side effects for the heart with higher accuracy than animal experiments. The software is based on human data, rather than animal data: this improves how test results translate to humans and reduces the need for animal experimentation. Rather than a one-model-fits-all, this software uses a population-based approach, which is an important step towards personalised medicine.

Several companies in the pharmaceutical industry are already using the Virtual Assay software with promising results, and collaboration with industry is ongoing.

The 3Rs prize, sponsored by GSK, was presented for the research paper by Dr Elisa Passini and colleagues from the Computational Cardiovascular Science team and Janssen Pharmaceutical at a ceremony on 12 March.  

The winning research builds on work by the same team, awarded the 3Rs Prize in 2014. Dr Oliver Britton and colleagues then established a computer model that incorporated variations in ‘normal’ heart electrophysiological properties based on existing data from rabbit Purkinje fibres (cardiac cells). 

Virtual Assay is now available for download in the Oxford University Innovation Store and you can find the prize-winning research paper here.

Comprehensive in-vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) in-silico Working Group

Comprehensive in-vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) in-silico Working Group

Posted 07/11/2017

The Comprehensive in-vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) in-silico Working Group is holding a meeting on 9th November in Toronto alongside the Cardiac Physiome Workshop (7-8th November). The meeting will discuss the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modelling group's work on the mathematical modelling aspects of the initative, gather feedback, hear new ideas and stimulate further collaborations.

CiPA is an international initiative, launched in 2013 by the US Food and Drug Administration, other drug regulatory agencies, industry and academic collaborators, to develop and validate a new mechanistic, in vitro and in silico paradigm for evaluating the proarrhythmic risk of new drugs. CiPA studies include ion channel effects in cell lines combined with mathematical action potential modelling to predict the effect of multiple ion channel block and associated pro-arrhythmic risk, and to check the integrated effect with stem-cell derived cardiomyocyte measurements. The CiPA project website is

Virtual Assay winner of the SPS 2017 Technological Innovation Award.

Virtual Assay winner of the SPS 2017 Technological Innovation Award.

Posted 27/09/2017


Elisa Passini received the Technological Innovation Award at the Safety Pharmacology Society Meeting 2017 for “Virtual Assay: a User-Friendly Framework for In Silico Drug Trials in Populations of Human Cardiomyocyte Models” (Elisa Passini, Oliver Britton, Alfonso Bueno-Orovio, Blanca Rodriguez.) 

The Computational Cardiovascular Science  team at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, in collaboration with Oxford Computer Consultants and supported by a EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award has developed this a user-friendly software for In Silico drug trials, using populations of human cardiac cellular models based on well-understood human cardiac physiology. The human cell populations are calibrated against experimental data and used to predict the effects of different pharmaceutical agents on human cellular response at the population level. Several major companies in the pharmaceutical industry are already using the software with promising results.

This award is a recognition to the importance of In Silico models in Safety Pharmacology. 

The safety Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting 2017

The safety Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting 2017

Posted 20/09/2017

The Safety Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting is held in Berlin, 24-27 September 2017.

The 2017 Scientific Program of the Safety Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting features a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two themed tracks and covering issues such as Addressing Safety in Oncology, Translational Safety Pharmacology, Suicidality, New Modalities and New Biological Entities, Disease Models/Personalized Medicine, Microphysiological Systems - New Technologies, In Silico Modeling, Right Species-Right Time, Changing Regulatory Environment among others.

This meeting is a great opportunity to push together towards in silico human cardiac models drug safety and efficacy.