UW Research

National Simulation Resource Center Physiome Project



The Physiome Project aims to develop, collect, preserve, and disseminate information and integrated understandings of functional biological systems. Going beyond experimentation and observation, the key elements of the project are the databasing of physiological, pharmacological, and pathological information on humans and other organisms and integration through computational modeling. “Models” include everything from diagrammatic schema, suggesting relationships among elements composing a system, to fully quantitative, computational models describing the behavior of physiological systems and an organism’s response to environmental change. Each mathematical model is an internally self-consistent summary of available information, and thereby defines a “working hypothesis” about how a system operates. Predictions from such models are subject to test, with new results leading to new models. The behavior of complex biological systems will be gradually revealed through this step-by-step process of building upon and further refining “what is known.”

Core Services Offered

The Physiome Project is a loose collaboration of investigators world wide working on developing quantitative computational models of the biology of humans and other organism. The free sharing of information and technology and the exchanging of reproducible models fosters the advancement of science by rapid open communication.

Databasing of information:
functional behavior of molecules and biological systems, data on intact cellular systems, organs, and intact organisms.

Integration and consilience of knowledge:
Equations for schema of interactions (descriptive models), Quantitative descriptions of relationship (causal, mechanistic, fractal, statistical, biochemicalphysiological and pharmacological systems), computer models of biological systems (molecular, cellular, organ, organism), parameterized models for different cells, tissues, and species.

Network access to databases and models:
platform-independent networked search engines, platform-independent web operation of models, access to databases from descriptive and computational models.

Funding Information

National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) 1981-2003
Nat Inst. Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) 2003-15
Nat. Heart Lung & Blood Inst (NHLBI) 2015-2020
Nat. Inst. General Medical Sciences NIGMS 2011-2016
Nat. Science Foundation (NSF)

Reporting Structure

Ceci Giachelli, Chair, Department of Bioengineering

External Partners

McGill University
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
University of Wisconsin
University of Toronto
Mayo Clinic
University of California San Diego
Maastricht University
University of Auckland
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology