The Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine is a collaborative initiative between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Institute came into existence on 28 May 2012, distributing its charter and registering its first members. Insigneo is a member of several alliances between research intensive universities such as the White Rose University Consortium, EPSRC Centre for Multiscale Soft Tissue Mechanics and the N8 Research Partnership.
Multi-disciplinary in its structure, the Institute involves 142 academics and clinicians who collaborate to develop computer simulations of the human body and its disease processes that can be used directly in clinical practice to improve diagnosis and treatment.
In silico medicine (also known as “computational medicine”) is the application of in silico research to problems involving health and medicine. It is the direct use of computer simulation in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease. More specifically, in silico medicine is characterised by modelling, simulation, and visualisation of biological and medical processes in computers with the goal of simulating real biological processes in a virtual environment. This is almost certainly the most sophisticated application of computing technology in healthcare, and Sheffield has become the UK’s principal centre for this work. Insigneo performs cutting-edge research in areas of fundamental and applied biomedical modelling, imaging and informatics, as it pursues the research agenda of the Virtual Physiological Human initiative. The Institute’s work will bring about a transformational change in healthcare through multidisciplinary collaborations across many strategic areas, which will include personalised diagnosis and treatment and improvements in independent, active and healthy ageing.
Insigneo performs cutting edge research in areas of fundamental and applied biomedical modelling, imaging and informatics. It will pursue the research agenda of the Virtual Physiological Human initiative. In the first five years research will focus on the Digital Patient, in silico Clinical Trials, and Personal Health Forecasting.
Insigneo is committed to five strategic objectives:
- To achieve scientific and technological excellence in research, development and innovation programmes.
- To promote the translation of research results into clinical practice, with widespread adoption throughout the healthcare system.
- To promote the translation of research results into commercially exploitable innovations, through cooperation with existing companies and by promoting the creation of start-ups.
- To support education and training activities related to the development and appropriate use of Virtual Physiological Human technologies.
- To establish and to promote alliances with centres of excellence at national and international levels.