CompBioMed: creating virtual humans

Author: Gavin Pringle
Posted: 22 Jul 2021 | 14:09

EPCC is a Core Partner of CompBioMed, a European Centre of Excellence focused on the use and development of computational methods for biomedical applications. We prepare these applications for future exascale systems, to create the first virtual humans: digital twins to enable personalised medicine.

We support medical scientists from both academia and industry, ie hospitals and medical research institutions, who research three main scientific areas: cardiovascular medicine, molecular-based medicine (including COVID-19 research), and neuro-musculoskeletal medicine.

EPCC provides access and support to CompBioMed users on the Cirrus and ARCHER2 systems, but also assists in preparing their applications for future exascale platforms. We are active in CompBioMed’s training activities and coordinate its e-Seminar series.  EPCC also engages with potential new users, offering free access to the CompBioMed service to port and scale biomedical applications to supercomputers.

We also support those interested in enabling workflows that require safely moving sensitive data to large computers for processing via traditional HPC simulations and/or machine learning. Through a collaboration with the LEXIS consortium, we are investigating a particularly exciting new workflow we have named Resilient HPC, designed for urgent, safety-critical computations.

Coronavirus research 

CompBioMed is active in a large international consortium across Europe and USA working on urgent coronavirus research. To date, the consortium has redirected substantial research effort and funding into computational investigations that has improved our understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the associated COVID-19, and has accelerated the development of treatment options, including antiviral drugs and vaccines.

The work of the consortium includes bioinformatics analysis and simulation, molecular modelling, electronic structure calculations, epitope analysis, machine learning, epidemiological studies, and the creation and hosting of a growing collection of relevant datasets.

CompBioMed Conference: 15-17 Sep, 2021 

Our theme for 2021 is “Building the Virtual Human: How to bring experimental research into your digital twin.”  

This event will address all aspects of computational biomedicine, from genome to whole human and population levels, embracing data driven, mechanistic modelling and simulation, and machine learning.


CompBioMed conference:


Gavin Pringle, EPCC

Image from Virtual Humans film courtesy of CompBioMed and Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

The CompBioMed project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 823712.



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