Synergy project is developing a simulation environment and a decision-support system aiming at enabling deployment of systems medicine. The three core elements are a knowledge base (KB), an inference engine (IE), and a graphical visualization environment (GVE). The project focuses on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Knowledge Base (KB)

The KB will include five well-established physiological models addressing:
· Central and peripheral O2 transport and utilization,
· Pulmonary gas exchange,
· Regional-lung heterogeneities in ventilation and perfusion,
· Skeletal muscle bioenergetics, and
· Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation.

These models will be written in systems biology markup language (SBML) and vertically integrated. Ontologies will be used as the default knowledge-representation system. The KB will include multi-level data from experimental studies (BioBridge), data from a multicenter longitudinal study on COPD phenotyping (PAC-COPD) and public datasets.

Inference engine (IE)

The IE will enable to explore associations over the KB, perform transversal multi-scale model integration and related simulations including interactions among O2-availability/O2-utilization, ROS generation, systemic inflammation and abnormal tissue remodeling.

Graphical visualization environment (GVE)

The Web-based GVE will facilitate relevant simulations in a more intuitive way with respect to the state of the art, addressing two main user profiles: bio-researchers and clinicians. The focus will be on underlying mechanisms of COPD phenotypes associated with poor prognosis. Disease model validation and refinement will be done using a well-established, large dataset (ECLIPSE) together with experimental studies designed to test “in silico” generated hypotheses. Besides the use of the simulation environment by bio-researchers for optimal experimental design, the Synergy platform will be a relevant decision-support tool for integrated healthcare strategies aiming at modulating the evolution of COPDs.

Synergy project members include Fundació Privada Barcelona Centre Tecnològic (Barcelona, Spain); Biomax Informatics (Germany); Linkcare Health Services (Barcelona, Spain); Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); Oxford University (UK); University of Birmingham (UK); Infermed Ltd (UK) and Budapesti Muszaki es Gazadasagtudomanyi Egyemtem (Hungary).