In silico modeling system: A national research resource for simulation of complex brain disorders

Zaven S. Khachaturian, Joseph Lombardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper presents the rationale for an initiative to create a comprehensive in silico modeling system, as a national shared resource, for simulation of complex biological systems, eg, neurodegenerative disease. The development of a well-integrated, generally-accessible computer modeling system (built upon a platform of an interlinked network of high performance/super computers -HPC) will enable medical researchers to translate and transform massive amounts of disconnected information (databases) into usable knowledge: an essential initial step for simulating and modeling complex biological processes. The aim of this initiative is to: a) develop a blue print for action and, b) convey the vision of the next generation of research tools, technologies, and systems for the investigation of neurodegenerative disorders of later life. As a first step, a Work Group will be established to:•evaluate the infrastructure required for creating a national "in silico" modeling system;•consider a number of computer modeling approaches and databases that might be incorporated into a network of interconnected high performance computing systems;•explore the development of a partnership among the stakeholders (eg, government agencies (NIH, NSF, DOD, DOE and their national labs), universities, pharmaceutical companies, business and finance groups, voluntary private health organizations and foundations); and•develop a public policy blueprint to obtain the required funds, research resources and infrastructure to launch the planning and construction of the system. The potential benefits include: a) improving the efficiency, effectiveness and speed of therapy development for neurodegenerative disorders and, b) the development of totally novel computing algorithms/devices, thinking/learning machines, robotics, and hybrid (digital/analog) computers based on a better understanding of human 'thinking' processes and brain functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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