Due to the difficulties connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the VPH2020 conference took place from the 24th to the 28th of August 2020 completely on-line. Despite the new digital format, the conference proved to be extremely successful, not only by attracting a very large number of participants, but also by presenting an innovative program with a special COVID-19 day, very interesting sessions and great science!
The organisation of the VPH2020 conference was in the hands of Inria and partners, co-chaired by Dominique Chapelle, and Irene Vignon-Clementel.
“It has been a great honor for Inria and the other organising partners to host the 2020 edition of the VPH Conference. To push the 'Virtual Physiological Human' to enter the clinics, we eagerly reached out to clinicians to shape the program. Of course, we were also disappointed not to be able to host the conference in Paris, as we had carefully prepared for until the COVID crisis started. Nevertheless, we felt the urge to rise to the occasion, and show through this event that we can remain tightly connected and organised as a community to continue advancing our ideas and applications, now more important than ever, and moreover participate in finding solutions adapted to the current crisis. This is the reason why we decided, not only to maintain the conference, but to add a special day entirely dedicated to COVID-related applications.
We were also very keen on making the better out of this difficult situation, and as challenging as it may be, using it as an opportunity to experiment with a new type of gathering, much more environment-friendly - and affordable to a larger audience - than traditional ones.” say Dominique Chapelle and Irene Vignon-Clementel (Inria).
The registration figures - more than 600 participants! - have shown a very large support from the community for the digital format. A total of 330 abstracts were presented - with 28 countries represented - among which about 58 hours of oral sessions, all available in replay until the 30th of September.
"VPH2020 was my first online conference, and it was indeed a great experience with multitude of interesting research and panel discussion in the 3 days. Being able to attend successive talks in different sessions, without the need of running across conference halls was something that I particularly enjoyed during this online conference.” says Satanik Mukherjee one of the participants from KULeuven.
The conference program saw many interesting special sessions, some of which are mentioned below:
Some of the conference sessions has been broadcasted live of Facebook where the recordings will be kept available and accessible by anyone at this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/718457041897216/
“This has been another highlight in the VPH conference series. Not only did we have a record high number of submissions, the quality of the work presented was also very high. It perfectly exemplified the acceleration we have seen the past couple of years in the field of in silico medicine. The increased quality of the work in the overall community is also evident from the submissions and participations to the various awards that were installed to acknowledge and encourage our youngest generation of researchers (posters, oral presentations & PhD theses). The colleagues helping us evaluate the different submissions had a hard time making a choice. The well-attended award sessions were amongst the highlights of the conference. The future is looking bright for our field!” says Lies Geris, VPHi executive director.
The baton for the next conference will now be passed to Porto University who was selected to organize the 2022 edition. We take the opportunity to wish them much success in the continuation of this collective adventure!