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Towards European Neuromal Cell Simulation: a European consortium to integrate the scientific activities for the creation of a European Alliance devoted to the complete in-silico model of Neuronal Cell

Final Report Summary - SYMBIONIC (Towards European neuromal cell simulation: a European consortium ... for the creation of a European alliance devoted to the complete in-silico model of neuronal cell)

There is a need to start a European-wide initiative on the systems biology of neuronal cells and synapses. In the next few years, systematic data from proteomics and genomics will allow the design of an in silico virtual cell, a model that will have an enormous impact on biomedical and pharmaceutical areas, as it will contribute to a rational design of treatments for human neurodegenerative diseases.

This project aimed at putting the issue of the systems biology of a neuronal cell to the centre of the interest of a wide scientific community, from that of cell and molecular neurobiology and neurophysiology, to that of functional genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, biophysics and computational biology. From the beginning, the project stated that if properly exploited, this initiative will capitalise the enormous scientific potential in Europe and fill a significant void in the international scientific arena.

The project integrated knowledge and expertise, and provided a general assessment of the existing data and know-how in several different scientific domains (from neurophysiology to computer science). This will trigger the growth of a consensus on the initiative from pharmaceutical, biotechnological and computing industry and will help find new strategies for fund raising.

The project integrated its expertise, methodologies, goals and dissemination actions with the ongoing European-wide initiatives on different aspects of systems biology: in particular, the activities were carried out in close collaboration with the Eusysbio Specific Support Action (SSA) initiative. The project organised workshops, conferences and training courses on the scientific and technological themes involved, for the growth of a future generation of scientists in a cross-disciplinary area that is still in its infancy.