200 A.D.

"The liver is the source of the
veins and the principal instrument
of sanguification."
Roman anatomist Galen

11th century

"The liver is the seat of the nutritive
or vegetative faculties."
Islamic medical philosopher Avicenna

1653

"I do not have the courage to doubt the liver
which has so long been considered essential."
Danish anatomist and discoverer of the
lymphatic system, Thomas Bartholin

1950

Foundation of the American Association
for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)

1958

Foundation of the International Association
for the Study of the Liver (IASL)

1966

European Association for the Study of the Liver
(EASL) was founded by the German physician
Gustav-Adolf Martini in Marburg, Germany

2004-2010

HepatoSys funding initiative of the Federal
Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

2010-2015

Virtual Liver Network - a major research
investment by the German Government
focusing on work at the “bleeding edge”
of Systems Biology and Systems Medicine.

What is this?

The Virtual Liver Network (VLN) represents a major research investment by the German Government focusing on work at the “bleeding edge” of Systems Biology and Systems Medicine. This Flagship Programme is tackling one of the major challenges in the life sciences: that is, how to integrate the wealth of data we have acquired post-genome, not just in a mathematical model, but more importantly in a series of models that are linked across scales to represent organ function. As the project is prototyping how to achieve true multi-scale modelling within a single organ and linking this to human physiology, it will be developing tools and protocols that can be applied to other systems, helping to drive forward the application of modelling and simulation to modern medical practice. It is the only programme of its type to our knowledge that bridges investigations from the sub-cellular through to ethically cleared patient and volunteer studies in an integrated workflow. As such, this programme is contributing significantly to the development of a new paradigm in biology and medicine.