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2010: Year of the Lung

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Two new projects involving computational modelling of the respiratory system are to be funded through the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Both projects fall within the Virtual Physiological Human call (5.3) which aims to fund patient-specific computational modelling and simulation of organs or systems targeting specific clinical needs such as prediction of diseases, early diagnosis, disease quantification, surgery planning, treatment and training.

The first project, Airway Disease PRedicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM), aims to develop a multi-scale integrated patient specific model of the airways within the lung in order to investigate the complex multi-scale processes occurring in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This consortium consists of 34 partners establishing an extensive database of knowledge spanning from the ‘omics level to the whole organ.

Synergy-COPD, a smaller project consisting of 8 partners across Europe, will develop a simulation environment and a decision-support system aiming at enabling deployment of systems medicine. More specifically, this project will integrate models of oxygen transport throughout the body from the respiratory system to skeletal muscles and ultimately down to the sub-cellular level. The focus will be to highlight underlying mechanisms of COPD phenotypes associated with poor prognosis. Both projects are due to start 1st February 2011.

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Kelly Burrowes
(Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland)