The third VPH NoE study group (SG3) was held in Barcelona from 7th – 11th May. The event, organised by the University of Sheffield, Super Computing Solutions, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, took place on the Universitat Pompeu Fabra premises the week after the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2012).
Following the success of previous study groups organised by the VPH NoE Consortium, the format of the third study group was similar to the first and second study group where sixty attendees between tool providers and young researchers took part in one of three ‘grand challenges’. All participants attended the plenary program where Marco Viceconti, University of Sheffield, gave a welcome address followed by Alejandro Frangi, also from the University of Sheffield, who gave a talk on ”The VPH has 7 years: Future perspectives.’ The rest of the day was taken up by talks from three groups of world recognised experts in the field of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncology research and each proposed a grand challenge. The three grand challenges were:
For each of the above challenges a workgroup was formed where participants worked on this challenge for the remainder of the week. These workgroups were composed of the experts who proposed the challenge, expert developers of software tools identified relevant for that challenge, and young researchers (PhD students and post-docs). The idea behind the grand challenges was that each of them identified a challenging modelling workflow, with a minimum list of “essential” tools known to be necessary. These challenges were also identified to be useful to European research groups that are active in these research topics.
For tool developers the event was an opportunity to teach young researchers on the use of their tools, but also a perfect opportunity to understand the difficulties that VPH researchers find in using software of the VPH toolkit. For young researchers it was an opportunity to be brought to the state of the art from a methodological point of view, with the possibility to try multiple software tools pertinent to the their research project, under the direct guidance of the tool developers.
Each day started with a plenary session given by experts in the field. Peter Hunter, University of Auckland gave a talk entitled “A review of the emerging standards for VPH”; Norbert Graf, University of Saarland discussed “The VPH infrastructures: P-Medicine and VPH-Share”; Keith McCormack from the VPHNoE presented “The VPH Toolkit”; and finally Alessandro Chiarini, SCS, talked about “ ‘Technologies that make it real: a VPH tool developers perspective’. The final day of the workshop closed with all three workgroups wrapping up the results of their week work and sharing findings with the other groups.