Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board provides an objective, constructively critical oversight of the science within the network to facilitate the optimal and timely delivery of the VLN Vision.

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David J Harrison

John Reid Chair of Pathology University of St Andrews

Professor Harrison joined the University of St Andrews in May 2012 from the University of Edinburgh where he was Professor of Pathology from 1998.

In Edinburgh he is Director of Laboratory Medicine for NHS Lothian, overseeing more than 600 staff working in pathology, genetics, biochemistry and haematology.

Professor Harrison is also the Designated Individual for Tissue Governance in Lothian, ensuring that that human tissue is ethically processed and made available for translational research

His clinical expertise is in medical liver, kidney and transplant pathology and he contributes to the diagnostic service of the Scottish National Liver Transplant Programme, including on call commitments.

Professor Harrison’s research interests are varied but based upon understanding how cells and tissue respond to injury. He works with chemists on hypoxia and mass spectrometry imaging.

He is Chair of Medical Research Scotland; Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency Committee on Toxicity; Trustee of the Melville Trust Board; Audit Committee Member of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator; Chairman of the Steering Group of Coordinating Action Systems Medicine; Member of the Funds Advisory Committee of the Edinburgh & Lothian Health Foundation and Board Member of the Scottish Lifesciences Association.

Peter J. Hunter

Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Engineering Science
Director, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Prof Hunter completed an engineering degree in 1971 in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (now Engineering Science) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, a Master of Engineering degree in 1972 (Auckland) on solving the equations of arterial blood flow and a DPhil (PhD) in Physiology at the University of Oxford in 1975 on finite element modeling of ventricular mechanics.
His major research interests since then have been modelling many aspects of the human body using specially developed computational algorithms and an anatomically and biophysically based approach which incorporates detailed anatomical and microstructural measurements and material properties into the continuum models. The interrelated electrical, mechanical and biochemical functions of the heart, for example, have been modelled in the first ‘physiome’ model of an organ. As the current co-Chair of the Physiome Committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences he is helping to lead the international Physiome Project which aims to use computational methods for understanding the integrated physiological function of the body in terms of the structure and function of tissues, cells and proteins.

He is currently a Professor of Engineering Science and Director of the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland, Director of Computational Physiology at Oxford University and holds honorary or visiting Professorships at a number of Universities around the world. He is on the scientific advisory boards of a number of Research Institutes in Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society (London and NZ), the World Council for Biomechanics, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the International Academy of Medical & Biological Engineering. He is currently Chair of the Marsden Fund, Secretary-General of the World Council for Biomechanics and President of the Physiological Society of New Zealand.

Recent awards:
(2009) Honorary Doctorate from University of Nottingham; KEA (Kiwi Expats Abroad) ‘World Class NZ’ award in Research, Science, Technology & Academia category; Rutherford medal;
(2010) Elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ).

Edda Klipp

2013 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board "Virtual Liver".
2012 Liaison Professor of the DFG at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
2012 - Member of the Scientific Advisory Board "Helmholtz Zentrum München".
2011 Spokesperson for the Research Training Group "Computational Systems Biology".
2010-2012 Member of the prearrangment committee of the "Excellence Initiative".
2009 Doctor honoris causa, University of Gothenburg (Sweden).
2008 Professor for Theoretical Biophysics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Biology.
2007-2008 Guest professorship for Theoretical Biophysics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Biology.
2006-2008 Head of the Research Group „Computational Systems Biology", Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Otto Warburg Laboratory.
2001-2006 Group leader of the Junior Research Group „Kinetic Modeling", Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Department of Vertebrate Genomics, group of Prof. Hans Lehrach, and Berlin Center for Genome Based Bioinformatics (BCB).
1997-2001 Research scientist, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Biology, Theoretical Biophysics.
1996-1997 Postdoc, Charité Berlin, Innovationskolleg Theoretical Biology, group of Prof. Hanspeter Herzel.
1995-1996 Postdoc, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Biology, TBP/ITB.
1990-1994 PhD thesis (Dr. rer. nat.) in Theoretical Biophysics: "Calculation of optimal kinetic parameters of enzymatic processes based on special reaction mechanisms". At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, supervisor: Prof. Dr. R. Heinrich.
1985-1990 Study at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Biology, Diploma in Biophysics: "Berechnungen kinetischer Konstanten monomolekularer enzymatischer Reaktionen in den Zuständen maximaler Aktivität unter Berücksichtigung spezieller Reaktionsmechanismen". Supervisor: Prof. Dr. R. Heinrich.

Frank Lammert

Frank Lammert is Professor of Internal Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at Saarland University Hospital Homburg, Germany. Between 2002 and 2007 he was Associate Professor of Gastroenterology and Assistant Professor for Molecular and Clinical Hepatology at the University of Bonn and Aachen University (RWTH), respectively.

Prof. Lammert studied medicine and economics at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Hagen and Aachen supported by a scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation and obtained his PhD summa cum laude at Aachen University in 1995.

Frank Lammert held a number of academic faculty appointments, including Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Boston, where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. Martin C. Carey, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Frank Lammert has served as member of the Governing Board of the German Association for the Study of the Liver (GASL) and Associate Editor of the Journal of Hepatology.

His research interests include the genetics of complex liver diseases, hepatic fibrogenesis and hepatobiliary transport. Prof. Lammert received the Theodor Frerichs Award of the German Society for Internal Medicine in 2002 and the Siegfried Thannhauser Award of the German Gastroenterological Association in 2005.

Nicolas Le Novere

The research interests of Le Novère revolve around the modelling of signal transduction in neurons, ranging from the molecular structure of proteins involved in neurotransmission, to signalling pathways in relation with synaptic plasticity.

Using different modelling approaches at different levels, his group provided new insights on mechanisms leading to cooperativity, integration, and decoding of intracellular signals. Along with the modelling activity, the group develops services for the community such as data resources or modelling software. Le Novère is one of the creators of the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML), and has been involved in it development since 2000.

Along with the tools and resources developed for computational systems biology (e.g., BioModels Database, the reference for exchanging models), Le Novère initiated a coherent set of standards and ontologies in systems biology modeling, such as the Minimum Information Required In the Annotation of Models (MIRIAM), the Minimum Information About a Simulation Experiment (MIASE), the Simulation Experiment Description Markup Language (SED-ML) and the Systems Biology Ontology (SBO), that together aim to facilitate the exchange and reuse of models, as well as their integration with other types of biological data.

Over the last few years, he coordinated the development of the Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN), the equivalent for biochemistry of the circuit diagrams for engineering.

Satdarshan (Paul) Singh Monga

Dr. Monga is a professor of Pathology and vice chair and division director of Experimental Pathology, at the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds an endowed chair for Experimental Pathology and is also professor of Medicine in the division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. His laboratory has made seminal contributions in the field of liver pathobiology. Especially, his lab has shown many relevant roles of the Wnt/beta-catenin and associated signaling hepatic development, stem cell biology, hepatocarcinogenesis, regeneration, metabolism and injury. His research has focused on elucidating novel cellular and molecular events that regulate the processes of hepatocyte and biliary differentiation of hepatoblasts and oval cells. His laboratory continues to divulge novel mechanisms of liver cancer focusing on commonalities between developmental and oncogenic mechanisms. The pleiotropic roles of beta-catenin in liver biology may be a result of its diverse interactions with other transcription factors, ensuing differential target gene expression and functions and this aspect remains under active investigation.

Dr. Monga’s research is well funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is a regular member of the Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology study section at the NIH. He is the Editor-in-Chief of a new journal called Curent Pathobiology Reports and an associate editor for the American Journal of Pathology and BMC-Cancer and on editorial boards of many journals such as Gastroenterology, Hepatology, American Journal of Physiology and others. He has edited textbooks such as Molecular Pathology of Liver Disease and others. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigations, PLUTO, American Association of Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Investigative Pathology, American Gastroenterology Association and American Association of Cancer Research. He is also involved in graduate student training and member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate program and the director of NIH-funded training program in Cellular and Tissue Engineering Approaches to Regeneration (CATER). He has also received several mentoring awards for his contributions to the graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.

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Piet van der Graaf

Piet van der Graaf recently became the Director of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) and Professor of Systems Pharmacology at Leiden University (The Netherlands).  From 1999 - 2013 he held various leadership positions at Pfizer in Sandwich (United Kingdom) in Discovery Biology, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism (PDM) and Clinical Pharmacology/Pharmacometrics.  He received his doctorate training in quantitative pharmacology with Nobel laureate Sir James Black at King's College London and worked as a postdoctoral fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences at Leiden University on the development of mechanism-based PKPD approaches. He is Editor-in-Chief of CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (www.nature.com/psp) and was recently elected as Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society.  He holds several patents in the field of target discovery and has co-authored more than 75 papers in the area of quantitative and translational pharmacology, including  the 2011 White Paper "Quantitative and Systems Pharmacology in the Post-genomic Era" by the NIH QSP working group.

Michael Trauner

Michael Trauner received his medical education at the Karl Franzens University School of Medicine in Graz, where he started his residency and fellowship in Internal Medicine in 1991. From 1994-1997 he was trained Erwin Schroedinger Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Austrian Science Foundation at the Department of Internal Medicine (Section of Digestive Diseases) and Liver Center at the Yale University, USA (Prof. James L. Boyer) where he worked on the molecular alterations of hepatobiliry transport systems in cholestasis. After returning to Graz he completed his training in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Graz and established an internationally recognized research goup in cholestatic and fatty liver diseases and founded the Liver Center. His main research interests are the molecular regulation of hepatobiliary ABC transporters in cholestatic and fatty liver diseases by nuclear receptors, mechanisms of cell injury in cholestatic and fatty liver disease and pharmacological treatment of cholestatic and fatty liver diseases. In 2000 he was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine (Tenure Track) and 2005 Full Professor of Medicine, Experimental and Clinical Hepatology at the Medical University of Graz. Since 2010 he is Professor and Chair of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna where he is also Division Head of one of the largest clinical Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Liver services in Europe. He has published more than 230 peer reviewed scientific papers, mainly on molecular and clinical aspects of cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases, and is corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and several other national and international professional and scientific societies. He has also served on several Editorial Boards and Scientific Committees such as EASL Governing Board Member (2006-2010), Council Member of United European Gastroenterology (since 2010), Associate Editor of the Journal of Hepatology (2004-2009) and Hepatology (since 2011).

Mike White

Mike White began his career at Amersham International (1985 - 1995) in the areas of molecular biology products and technologies for studies of gene function. While working at Amersham, he was awarded a PhD from Imperial College London. During this period he pioneered the use of the firefly luciferase gene as a reporter, particularly for non-invasive imaging in mammalian cells. In 1995, he was appointed to a lectureship at Liverpool University and to Professor at the beginning of 2004. At Liverpool, he founded the Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI), a suite of microscopy and imaging equipment, specifically designed for the non-invasive imaging of cellular processes.

In 2010 Mike moved to Manchester University and established the Systems Microscopy Centre. The SMC incorporates state-of-the-art equipment for multi-photon and confocal microscopy plus high throughput luminescence and fluorescence imaging. The major overall interest of White's group is to understand the relationship between signalling dynamics in specifying transcriptional control and cell fate.

Mike’s group have worked on the dynamics and function of the NF-κB signalling system for about 10 years. In 2004, his group published a paper in Science that demonstrated that the NF-κB can oscillate between the cytoplasm and the nucleus of cells following stimulation. They suggested that the timing of these oscillations may regulate downstream gene expression. This was a new way of thinking about how NF-κB may control gene expression. In subsequent papers they provided evidence that the timing of pulses of cytokine (TNFα) stimulation can drive oscillations at different frequencies and that this alters the pattern of gene expression. The group have increasingly used mathematical models of the NF-κB system to provide testable predictions about the function and dynamics of NF-κB signalling.

Recent work has been funded through a £6m BBSRC SABR project between Manchester, Liverpool and Warwick. The project was started in April 2008 and involves a multidisciplinary team of researchers. The work includes cell imaging, image analysis, gene expression analysis, bioinformatics, proteomics and phosphor-proteomics as well as model-led data analysis, and mathematical modelling and simulation. Mike has also collaborated with Prof. Julian Davis for 13 years on the dynamics of pituitary hormone gene expression. Major discoveries have included the observation that prolactin transcription is extremely stochastic. This has been achieved using single cell fluorescent and luminescent imaging of single cells (both cell lines and primary cells).

In addition to basic research activity, Mike has extensive collaborations with industry (e.g. Hamamatsu & Zeiss) & has played a role in developing tools for public engagement science. In 2006 he led a multidisciplinary group that presented at the Royal Society Summer & Glasgow exhibitions & at Science Day at Buckingham Palace.

Scientific Leadership

Day-to-day science within the VLN is overseen and directed by the Work Package Leaders, ensuring smooth interaction between multi-skilled groups, often working in different institutions and across significant distances within Germany.

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Steven Dooley

Steven Dooley is the head of the Deartment of Molecular Hepatology, which is associated to the II. Medical Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine in Mannheim at Heidelberg University. He has a long-standing and successful research history with regard to analyzing pathobiochemical mechanisms and signaling pathways in liver cells and chronic liver diseases. He published more than 70 original papers including numerous in the top journals of his research interest and about 15 review articles. The group has extensive experience in studies of primary liver cells from mouse, rat and human in different states of disease. Steven Dooley was awarded a guest professor at the Jiao Tong University, Medical School Shanghai in 2011. In the Virtual Liver Network, Steven Dooley and his staff contribute experimental data relating to molecular biology, cell biology and imaging technologies. Major expertise is isolation and primary culture of liver cells, here especially hepatic stellate cells and hepatocytes. Further, morphology analysis of healthy and damaged mouse livers will be performed in animal models of chronic liver disease and during liver regeneration with 2 and 3D imaging techniques and images will be used for model generation and refinement. The group has also access to human samples to proof relevance of model based predictions in human patients. Steven Dooley is coordinating the showcase 'LPS induced liver inflammation'.

Dirk Drasdo

Dirk Drasdo is head of group for “Multi-cellular Systems Biology” co-localized at INRIA Paris-Rocquencourt in France and the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioinformatics, Univ. of Leipzig, Germany. His main research topic is modeling of multi-cellular tissue organisation. He established single cell, center-based growth models of tissues in various applications. More recently he and his group were able to establish a process chain parameterizing single-cell-based tissue models out of image data in collaboration with the group of J.G. Hengstler (IfaDo). With a modeling guided experimental strategy using this process chain they were able to predict a previously unrecognized order mechanism during liver regeneration. Before his position as Directeur de Recherche (full Professor equivalent) at INRIA he has hold a faculty position at the Mathematics Dept. and the Center for Systems Biology at Univ. of Warwick, UK, and research associate positions at the Max-Planck-Institutes for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, and Colloid and Interface Science in Golm, as well as at the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology at the Medical Faculty of Leipzig University; he has a habilitation in Computer Science (Univ. of Leipzig), a PhD in Physics (MPI for Biophys. Chemistry and Univ. of Göttingen), and master degree in Physics from the RWTH Aachen. He has been or is PI in several EU as well as national German or French projects on tissue organisation. In the Virtual Liver Network Dirk Drasdo is coordinating the modeling efforts on the liver lobule scale, and co-coodinating efforts on model integration.

Rolf Gebhardt

Rolf Gebhardt, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Director, Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig.

Rolf Gebhardt has studied biochemistry and mathematics in Stuttgart and Tübingen finishing with a diploma in biochemistry in 1967. In 1980, he graduated at the University of Tübingen and received his Ph.D. summa cum laude. His research interests were in liver physiology, zonation and regulation of gene expression. From 1984 till 1985, he worked as postdoc in the laboratories of George Michalopoulos (Duke University, NC, USA) and Gary Williams (American Health Foundation, NY, USA). In 1987, he habilitated at the University of Tübingen and in 1989 received the Robert-Feulgen Prize (Intern. Assoc. of Histochemists) and the Falcon Prize (Society of Cell Biology). After continuing research focussing on zonal gene regulation and regeneration in liver as well as on hepatocyte culture at the University of Tübingen, he was appointed full professor (chair of General Biochemistry) at the University of Leipzig in 1997. Acknowledging his work in liver research he became president of the Intern. Congress on Hepatocytes in 1996, and president of the GASL (German Association of the Study of the Liver) in 2005/2006.

Rolf Gebhardt joined the Systems Biology Initiative of the BMBF in 2004 and was member of HepatoSys I and II. In the “Virtual Liver Network” he became Member of LeadershipTeam, Leader of Work Package A1 and Coordinator of the Show Case “Steatosis”.

Jan Hengstler

Jan Hengstler, born 1965, studied medicine at the University of Mainz (Germany) later became Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Leipzig and now is director of the Leibniz Research Centre in Dortmund (Germany). His research interests are liver toxicity and regeneration, hepatocyte in vitro systems, systems toxicology, toxicogenomics, as well as carcinogenesis. In the Virtual Liver Network he establishes spatial-temporal models of liver regeneration based on confocal and two-photon laser scans, image processing three-dimensional tissue reconstruction, as well as quantitative mathematical modeling to elucidate the principles how cells coordinately behave to establish functional tissue structure and restore microarchitecture during regeneration. Besides his activity Jan Hengstler is involved in the coordination of systems biology oriented EU projects NOTOX, ESNATS and DETECTIVE and he is editor-in-chief of the Archives of Toxicology.

Hermann-Georg Holzhütter

Hermann-Georg (Hergo) Holzhütter is group leader at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Medical School Berlin (Charité). He studied physics (1964-1973) at the Humboldt-University Berlin and graduated at this university in theoretical physics with a thesis on electron transport in semiconductors. 1979 he joint the Institute of Biochemistry of the Charité as leader of the Mathematical Systems Biochemistry Group. His group works on mathematical models of enzymes, metabolic networks of various human cells, intra-cellular vesicle transport and development of in vitro toxicity test systems. His contribution to these fields was awarded with several national and international prizes. In the VLN, Hergo is Project Leader of A1.1, A3.1, E1 and F2 and partner in several other projects. His work is mainly dedicated to the development of a comprehensive kinetic model of liver metabolism and the integration of this model with models of signal transduction and gene expression developed in other projects.

Ursula Klingmüller

Prof. Ursula Klingmüller studied Biology at the Universities Bayreuth and Heidelberg. During her Diploma and Graduate thesis at the ZMBH in Heidelberg in the group of Prof. H. Schaller she addressed virus-host-cell interactions of Hepatitis B viruses. As postdoctoral fellow she was funded by a stipend by the DFG and studied in the groups of Prof. L. Cantley, Harvard Medical School, and of Prof. H. Lodish, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, in Boston, USA, signal transduction through the erythropoietin receptor. In 1996 she returned to Germany to head an independent Hans-Spemann-Junior Group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Immunbiology in Freiburg. In 2003 she was awarded a Theodor-Boveri-Group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and since 2007 heads the division „Systems Biology of Signal Transduction“ at the DKFZ. In 2011 she was appointed as W3-professor at the University of Heidelberg. Ursula Klingmüller has published more than 55 high rank publications. Her research combines quantitative analysis of information processing and cell fate decisions with mathematical modeling to unravel key regulatory mechanisms and predict strategies for effective intervention. Specifically, she addresses signaling pathways involved in liver regeneration. In the Virtual Liver Network she is project leader and contributes to multiple projects. She is workpackage leader at the cellular and the cell-cell communication level and is member of the management board.

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Lars Küpfer

Lars Küpfer is a senior scientist in the Systems Biology group of Bayer Technology Services GmbH in Leverkusen and at the Institute of Applied Microbiology of the RWTH Aachen. He studied chemical engineering at the TH Karlsruhe, RWTH Aachen and Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and received his Ph.D. degree from ETH Zurich. In his thesis, Lars Küpfer analyzed metabolic and regulatory principles in yeast based on computational models. In his current position, he works on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling of novel drug candidates thereby supporting decision making along the pharma development process. Lars Küpfer's main research interests are in the area of pharmacogenomics, metabolic modeling, system identification and medical microbiology. Within the Virtual Liver Network he coordinates work package G (clinical translation) as well as vertical model integration in work package E.

Ursula Kummer

Ursula Kummer studied Biochemistry and Physics at the University of Tübingen and Chemistry and the University of Oregon, Eugene. She received a PhD in Physical Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen. Topic of her PhD was the experimental and computational analysis of nonlinear dynamics in enzymatic reaction systems. She became group leader at the EML Research in Heidelberg in 2000 and took over a full professorship at the University of Heidelberg in 2007. Her research focuses on the development and application of computational methods for systems biology. Together with the groups of Pedro Mendes and Sven Sahle, her group develops the software COPASI which is heavily used in systems biology. On the application side, special emphasis is on the understanding of the function of dynamics in signalling systems like calcium, interferon and NFkB signalling, as well as in metabolism. She is co-coordinating the center of modeling and simulation in the biosciences (BIOMS) in Heidelberg. Within the VLN, she is co-coordinating workpackge B.

Wolfgang Müller

Wolfgang Müller studied physics and computer science to diploma level, followed by a doctoral thesis about searching images by their visual similarity and a habilitation on search in distributed systems. After a brief stay in industry, rewriting a large public-facing web application, he joined the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS gGmbH, a private, not-for-profit research institute) as group leader of the Scientific Databases and Visualisation Group (SDBV). The SDBV is an interdisciplinary group whose research and development is concerned with diverse flavors of management of scientific data: (i) SDBV develops, maintains and populates SABIO-RK, a public data source for reaction kinetics data (mainly) extracted from the scientific literature. Here, biocurators with a biology/biochemistry background manage data entry and data quality. SABIO-RK is supported by the VLN. (ii) SDBV is responsible for the data management within VLN and is the German part of SysMO-DB, the data management for SysMO (Systems Biology of Microorganisms). For these large-scale projects SDBV develops together with its collaboration partners the SEEK platform, a system for exchanging and storing data, models and other information in Systems Biology. Virtual Liver data management is based on SEEK. SDBV members are active in the data management (GI/GMDS), biocuration (ISB) and bio data standards (STRENDA, COMBINE) communities. Within Virtual Liver, Müller coordinates the Work Package F (data management; groups Holzhütter, Kummer, Leser, Müller, Wade) and its parts F1 (Central Data Management) and F3 (Kinetic Data Handling).

Tobias Preusser

Tobias Preusser studied mathematics at the University of Bonn and at New York University. He received his PhD from the University of Duisburg with a thesis on anisotropic geometric diffusion in image processing and his habilitation in Mathematics from the University of Bremen with a thesis on image based computing. He is professor for the mathematical modeling of biomedical processes at Jacobs University Bremen, head of the modeling and simulation group and member of the management board at the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS. On the one hand his research interests include modeling and simulation of bio-medical processes with partial differential equations (PDEs), mathematical image processing and scientific visualization based on PDEs. On the other hand his research is driven by concrete and complex application problems in medicine. The goal is to supplement radiological image data with models and simulations such that it allows for a better quality in diagnosis and treatment. Current research projects include the modeling and simulation of thermal ablation therapies like radiofrequency-ablation and focused ultrasound ablation for the treatment of cancer. His group is also working on image processing and simulations including measurement errors and uncertain parameter values using stochastic PDEs. In the Virtual Liver Network Tobias Preusser is coordinating the modeling efforts on organ scale. His group is investigating the modeling and simulation of blood flow and organ regeneration as well as the integration across scales.

Jens Timmer

Jens Timmer holds a Chair for Theoretical Physics and Its Application in the Life Sciences at Freiburg University. He has studied physics at the Universities of Oldenburg and Freiburg. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in 1994 and spent his postdoc time at the University of Boulder, ETH Lausanne, New York University, Humboldt University, Max-Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems Dresden, Potsdam University, and Heidelberg University. Afterwards, he became Assistant, Associate and, finally, in 2005, Full Professor at Freiburg. He is co-founder of the company The Scientific Consulting Group, later split into seleon GmbH and TNI medical AG. From 2003 until 2010, Jens Timmer was speaker of the Project Committee of HepatoSys, the predecessor of the German Virtual Liver Network. He is member of numerous advisory committees of systems biology initiatives. He has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature, and Cell. In 2010, Jens Timmerr was awarded the Hector Research Award, endowed with 150.000 €. Currently, he is member of the Board of Directors of the Freiburg Center for Data Analysis and Modelling, Director of the Freiburg Center for Systems Biology, Director of the School of Life Sciences at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, and Guest Professor at the University of Linköping, Sweden. Within the German Virtual Liver Network, Jens Timmer is leader of the Work Package 'Cellular Signalling' (A2) and co-coordinator of the show case 'LPS induced liver inflammation'.

Marino Zerial

Marino Zerial graduated in biology at the University of Trieste in 1982 with a thesis on lysosomal storage disorders. He conducted post-doctoral experiences at the Institute J. Monod (Paris) on the organization of the human genome and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL (Heidelberg) on the biosynthesis and endocytosis of the tranferrin receptor. He became EMBL Research Group Leader in 1991 when he started his work on the molecular regulation of endocytosis, focusing on the function of Rab GTPases. In 1998, he became Max Planck Director and co-founder of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, MPI-CBG, Dresden. In 2006, he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Marino Zerial is Project Leader of A3.2 and A3.3 and partner in several projects (A1.3, A3.5, B2.3, B3, C2, C5, C6). His work is dedicated to the spatio-temporal regulation and interplay of selected signaling pathways and vesicular trafficking with the focus on liver cell polarity. Using a fully automated multidisciplinary imaging platform, these projects deliver high-quality and high-content image data for the establishment as well as validation of theoretical models. As a Workpackage Leader of A3, Marino Zerial coordinates the experimental and theoretical work as well as the reporting. As member of the VLN Leadership Team and the VLN Management Team, he supports the VLN project management and evaluation processes.

Network Management

Adriano Henney

Adriano_Henney_178x200 Dr. Henney has a PhD in Medicine and many years academic research experience in cardiovascular disease in laboratories in London, Cambridge and Oxford. His interests have focused predominantly on atherosclerosis, with studies ranging from pathology, through molecular and cellular biology to molecular genetics. In 1997, he was recruited by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals from a British Heart Foundation Senior Fellowship heading his own molecular genetics group in Oxford, to lead the exploration of new therapeutic approaches in atherosclerosis, specifically focusing on his research interests in vascular biology. Following moves in Zeneca and subsequently after the merger with Astra, within AstraZeneca, he became responsible for exploring strategic improvements to the company’s approaches to pharmaceutical target identification, and the reduction of attrition in early development, directing projects across research sites and across functional project teams in the US, Sweden and the UK. This resulted in the creation of a new multidisciplinary department that focused on pathway mapping, modelling and simulation supporting projects across Research and Development, the work of which evolved to establish the practice of Systems Biology within the Company. Here, projects prototyped the application of mechanistic disease modelling approaches to the discovery of innovative new medicines, such as Iressa. Since leaving AstraZeneca, Dr. Henney has continued his interest in Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology and Systems Medicine through his company, Obsidian Biomedical Consulting Ltd. He now directs a major €50M German national flagship programme: the Virtual Liver Network, currently the largest Systems Biology programme in Europe.

Johannes Bausch

Johannes Johannes Bausch has a background in biology and received his diploma from the University of Bielefeld. Additionally he was trained in project and process management. After a brief period in the medical industry he accepted a position at Charité Berlin as a Scientific Coordinator for the computational modelling platform of the HepatoSys consortium bringing together modellers and experimentalists of national-wide research network. Later he changed to the University of Freiburg to take over the central project management of HepatoSys and today is still in charge for the successor project Virtual Liver Network.