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13 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Group(s) submitting the application: 

Building Immune Digital Twins WG

Meeting objectives: 

The meeting is intended to provide a discussion forum to brainstorm and exchange on all the scientific aspects of building and validating immune system models for different purposes. We will discuss use cases, the state of the art, and important milestones of an IDT roadmap, highlighting its scientific, technical, and organizational challenges. 

The panel and participants will try to answer the following questions: 

Meeting agenda: 

Anna Niarakis and Reinhard Laubenbacher – Introduction to the Working Group: 5 minutes

Anna Niarakis – Presentation of the WG’s planned activities and member contributions: 10 minutes 

Q& A session: 5 minutes 

Invited speakers:

  1. Liesbet Geris  – Biomechanics Research Unit, GIGA In Silico Medicine, University of Liège, Belgium – Executive director VPH Institute – 10 minutes presentation
  2. Gary An – Green and Gold Professor of Trauma and Critical Care, Vice Chair of Surgical Research, Department of Surgery, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine – 10 minutes presentation
  3. Jasmin Fisher  – UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, UK – 10 minutes presentation
  4. James Glazier,  Director, Biocomplexity Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington – 10 minutes presentation

Q&A session: 10 minutes

Moderated round table discussion:  challenges and realistic outputs: 20 minutes

Target Audience: 

The proposed group session lies in the forefront of scientific challenges and we believe it will attract a significant amount of scientists, established and early-stage, from a variety of scientific domains and other RDA WGs. The meeting aims to bring together, and foster exchanges between, scientists of various fields such as Immunology, Clinic, Biology, Mathematics, Computer science, and Bioinformatics that share a common interest in studying the human immune system.

The topic of a digital twin of the immune system, and its numerous applications in combating disease, is relevant and resonates well after the recent never-seen-before circumstances due to the pandemic. 

The group session should attract researchers interested in learning about this emerging and promising concept of digital twins, giving them a unique opportunity to discover and discuss the state of the art in the field. 

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Anna Niarakis

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Digital twins, customized simulation models pioneered in industry, are beginning to gain ground in medicine and healthcare, with some major successes in cardiovascular diagnostics and insulin pump control. Personalized computational models are also assisting in applications ranging from drug development to patient-tailored treatment optimization. Advanced medical digital twins will be essential to making personalized medicine a reality. Because the immune system plays an important role in such a wide range of diseases and health conditions, from fighting pathogens to autoimmune disorders, digital twins of the immune system (IDTs) will have an especially high impact. However, their development presents major challenges, stemming from the inherent complexity of the immune system and the difficulty of measuring many aspects of a patient’s immune state in vivo. A collaborative interdisciplinary effort involving immunologists, clinicians, mathematical modelers, and software engineers is required to achieve substantial progress. 

The WG Building Immune Digital Twins aims to foster a network of collaborators and experts in all relevant areas of research. The ultimate goal of the WG is to help create a long-term interdisciplinary immune digital twin community, willing to take up the challenges of this exciting new field. 

Within the 18-month timeframe, we will deliver clear outcomes that can be enlisted here: 

Short Group Status: 

Our group is currently working on the Case Statement.

The Case Statement is almost finalized, and we are now discussing and receiving feedback from the RDA team. 

We have a preliminary list of fifty participants and we plan to pass the Technical Advisory Board at the end of March

Type of Meeting: 

Informative meeting

Additional links to informative material:…

Building an international and interdisciplinary community to develop immune digital twins for complex human pathologies (

Meeting presenters: 

Anna Niarakis, Reinhard Laubenbacher

Are you willing to host a second, repeat, session at a different time zone?: